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The squeeze on consumer spending power and the spread of discounting over a longer period may have made Black Friday 2017 a harder sell. We round up the statistics following the official Black Friday weekend to find out if the consumer appetite is starting to fall.
Online has dominated Black Friday sales this year, as predicted in our Black Friday research. Overall spending is up on last year, despite a fall in the number of shoppers visiting stores.
Early on Friday, a dip in web traffic and fewer shoppers on the high streets suggested that the appeal of Black Friday might finally be in decline. Despite this, momentum built throughout the day, with Barclaycard estimating that Black Friday spending was 8% higher than last year, before the official results are in from the ONS.
Online transactions in the week before Black Friday were up 11.3% as retailers launched their sales early. This trend may have accounted for the dilution of high street figures.
On Black Friday itself, John Lewis said that it had seen its biggest ever hour of online trading, with 705 units purchased per minute on average between 9am and 10am. “iPad” was their number one search term recorded, suggesting that technology is still a preferred product for Black Friday deal-searchers.
Cyber Monday, taking place today, is in full swing, with retailers promising to continue Black Friday discounts until close of play.
While ecommerce continues to grow, this year significantly less shoppers hit the high streets to take advantage of Black Friday deals, continuing a longer-term shift in shopping habits.
The best clip to sum up Black Friday 2017 on the high street? Perhaps the the following video live from Oxford Street.
At 8am, with national media gathering to capture the doors opening at Currys PC World, one lone shopper made the headlines instead of the usual frenzied crowds.
— Frankie McCamley (@Frankie_Mack) November 24, 2017
Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times. High street footfall was down 4.2%, whilst retail parks and shopping centres also experienced a 3.6% decline in footfall. The statistics, compiled by Springboard, were significantly worse than an expected decline of 0.6%.
Has Black Friday finally moved from an “event in its own right” to playing a part within wider Christmas promotions?
We have definitely experienced a shift over the last couple of years to longer Black Friday sale periods. Not only does this reduce increased pressure on retailers to perform on one day only, but also reduces the possibility of websites crashing and long queues in store – one of the biggest “put off” factors for consumers.
Although many analysts have begun to call time on Black Friday, and given that more consumers themselves planned to avoid Black Friday, once again it has been proved successful in terms of online sales. FOMAD (the fear of missing a deal) has reportedly been responsible for increasing Black Friday 2017 impulse buys – 43% of Brits admit “fear of missing a deal”, leading to needless spending – an interesting theory that we could see researched further ahead of next year.
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