The year’s long-awaited Black Friday bargain bonanza is over, and there’s just as much data in the aftermath as there were deals on the day. Results from a survey1 found that while across the US, consumers spent more – at its height US$12 million was spent a minute2 – Millennials spent the most, shelling out an average of US$509.50 per person, compared to US$382.40 in 2018. This is due to more Millennials in the workforce – with more disposable cash – so, a youth-orientated strategy is going to be the key to capitalizing on this purchasing power in the future. Read the full report for a deep dive into platforms used for purchase, and other data-rich avenues on demographics and their habits.
In what seemed like a desperate bid to grab the early birds looking for a bargain, some retailers were coming out with deals before the Thanksgiving turkey was coming out of the oven3. The seemingly panicky tactic did pay off, but the real winner was mobile. Adobe called Black Friday “the biggest day ever for mobile”, tracking US$2.9 billion in sales from smartphones alone equating to 39% of all e-commerce sales. With in-platform checkouts for easier social shopping, mobile sales continued through to the Saturday – and showed that shopping on mobile is a much smoother process than standing in line and fighting the crowd on the busiest day for deals.
Christmas sales can make or break a business, and a survey from Notonthehighstreet4 found that more than one in five smaller UK businesses fear that they will go out of business within 12 months if Christmas trading is low. For a market where the focus has been pushed on helping smaller businesses, 85% of shoppers say that they support smaller firms - but a third have not purchased anything from one in the past six months. So, while sales records are broken on key days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers aren’t putting their money where their mouths are to help small businesses.
UK disability charity Scope has started a campaign called ‘The Big Hack’ to make retailers aware of digital exclusion. In a time where user journeys and functionality are being finely tuned for the smoothest journey to checkout, there are still those left unable to shop in a proper way online. Existing barriers can be as simple as web colors, which affect those sensitive to light, as well as the ability to enlarge text for those with partial sight. Scope has outlined other easy fixes – such as captions in videos, plain language descriptions and big, descriptive buttons – all of which lead to simple shopping for all, not just those with disabilities. Scope has aggregated the value of disabled people’s spending power, claiming it to be over US$350 billion. Opportunity knocks here - if your site is properly accessible (check WCAG5 guidelines to be sure), then there is a keen market out there who are being underserved right now.
Black Friday 2019 boasts some record-breaking moments across the world, one of which has been reported by Barclaycard6. They have reported that between 1 and 2pm GMT on 29 November, 1,184 transactions per second were made – up 9% from last year’s record of 1,087 per second.
Retailers across the UK adopted different tactics over the course of the sales period. Furniture e-tailer Made.com ran several promotions via Instagram, while department store John Lewis ran promotions leading up to Black Friday. None of these seem to have hindered business on the day, and Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments said: “With many retailers spreading their deals out throughout the week, they will be encouraged to see this hasn’t cannibalized sales volumes on Black Friday itself.”