Few annual events match up to the madness and spend that occurs on Black Friday. Each year, shoppers eagerly save up and prepare to hit the stores early to ensure they grab the best deals. However, in recent years there has been a massive shift in spending patterns and according to statistics, 2016 managed to break the record for online Black Friday sales.
The internet is becoming increasingly popular with shoppers looking to avoid the mad rush. While some deals remain exclusive to in-store purchases, there’s been a surge in online-only deals to cater to those who prefer shopping from the comfort of their own homes.
Sales Expected To Increase 11.4% Above 2015 Figures
Initially, experts predicted the 2016 Black Friday sale would increase by 11.4% up on last year’s spending taking the total to $3.05 billion. However, actual statistics show a record $3.34 billion was spent online.
These figures highlight just how important online sales have become for retail stores. It is more convenient than ever before to shop online, especially with the introduction of super-speedy delivery. Most stores were offering next day delivery on their Black Friday deals, ensuring consumers got hold of their new shiny goods quickly.
Not all retailers are happy about their record sales however. The gaming industry saw a spectacular record high number of sales but retailers are now worried it could spark another downturn. Consumers are now waiting for sales before they spend, meaning fewer are likely to pay full price.
Black Friday Becomes Black Weekend
Perhaps one of the biggest changes shoppers noticed this year was the extended Black Friday sales. By definition, Black Friday has always run on one day of the year. However, this year retailers took full advantage of online shopping and increased their sales over a period of 3 days. Some even extended their deals for up to a week.
Amazon was the first retailer to begin its Black Friday Deals beginning on the Monday. Its full week of sales drew in plenty of online shoppers. However, you could argue that the extended time period took away much of the excitement of the popular sale. Many of the deals in the UK weren’t as impressive as they have been in previous years, though there were still some fantastic deals to be found.
It is just the third-year Black Friday has taken place in the UK, though it’s been running in the US for some time. America saw the biggest shift from in-store to online shopping and looking ahead to 2017 it’s expected the figure will increase further. Of course, the surge in online shoppers put extra pressure on websites and inevitably some did crash under the pressure. Curry’s PC World was one of the victims, with its site crashing soon after its Black Deals were launched.
Overall, the rise in online shopping and its convenience has had a major impact on businesses. It’s seen a rise in spending and companies across the UK have taken full advantage of digital marketing and next day delivery services to ensure they reach these valuable customers.