Black Friday is now the UK’s biggest online shopping day of the festive season, with online revenues set to hit £901 million ($1.1 billion) this year, according to new research.
The study, from Adobe reveals that consumer spending shows no sign of slowdown, with online spending this season expected to increase 10 percent year-on-year.
• Consumer spending shows no sign of slowing down: Online spending this season is expected to increase by £2.46 billion to £24.3 billion – a 10% YoY increase
• Smartphone popularity is rising: 20% of revenue this festive season is set to come from mcommerce
• Christmas Day is the biggest mobile shopping day: It is expected to account for 58% and 34% more mobile revenue than Cyber Monday and Black Friday respectively
• UK retailers receive higher rate of international traffic: One in five (19.7%) visitors to British retail sites are from outside of the UK
Online revenues around Black Friday alone are expected to hit £901 million ($1.1 billion*) this year, driven by aggressive sales promotions and its proximity to most peoples’ final pay day before Christmas.
Consumer activity around both Black Friday and Cyber Monday (usually the last Friday and Monday of November, respectively) shows no sign of abating, with spending growth on these two days outpacing annual average growth in the UK by 50 percent. Both are relatively recent imports from the US holiday calendar.
Increasing its dominance of the holiday season over the past three years, Black Friday has reshaped the pattern of holiday spending in the UK, with online sales tending to peak before the start of December and then levelling out through to Boxing Day. This is in contrast to countries like France or Germany, where holiday shopping is spread more evenly throughout December, particularly on weekends in the run-up to Christmas.
No sign of consumers cutting back post-Brexit
Despite recent economic uncertainty in the UK, consumers show no signs of slowing their spending. They are expected to spend £24.3 billion ($29.6 billion*) online during this holiday season—up £2.46 billion ($3 billion*) since last year—and 60 percent more per day, on average, during the shopping season than during other times of the year. The expectation of lower prices is still the dominant reason why UK consumers shop online, although price sensitivity amongst UK shoppers has decreased by 11 percent since 2015.
Across Europe, retail websites are seeing close to nine out of ten visitors come from within their own country during the holiday season; but UK sites receive a higher rate of traffic from other countries, with around one in five (19.7 percent) visitors coming from outside of the UK.
Mobile shopping on the rise – peaking on Christmas Day
Data from the last three years points to the growing importance of mobile shopping during the UK festive season, with smartphone holiday sales expected to surpass tablet sales for the first time this year, and smartphone shopping expected to account for 20 percent of total holiday revenue. Smartphones will account for 41 percent of holiday browsing in the UK overall; and, of the 13 countries surveyed in the ADI study, the UK is expected to have the highest mobile usage (together with Japan) during the holiday season. Across Europe, one in four US dollars spent on holiday shopping will be generated from a mobile device.
Meanwhile, Christmas Day is surpassing Black Friday as the biggest mobile shopping day of the season. Across 13 countries surveyed, including the UK, it is expected to account for 58 percent more mobile revenue than Cyber Monday and 34 percent more than Black Friday.
Search advertising top method to reach festive shoppers
When it comes to grabbing consumer attention around shopping deals, marketers can continue to expect search advertising to be UK shoppers’ most likely source for bargains, with 27 percent of them ranking it as their top source for price deals and bargains during the holiday season. Email, however, remains an important source of information, ranking second in the UK at 23 percent, and first in the US.
John Watton, EMEA Marketing Director at Adobe, comments: “In just three short years, Black Friday has radically reshaped consumer spending over the Christmas period in the UK. The challenge for brands is further exacerbated by the rapid growth in mobile browsing and spending, with more time-pressed Brits turning to online shopping to avoid traffic and queues. It’s more important than ever that retailers deliver consistent, easy and compelling experiences on every single device that a customer uses in order to avoid missing out on their share of the growing online spend. Consumers are more spoilt for choice and well-informed than ever, and they’ll quickly go elsewhere if they’re not getting the experience they want.”
• UK shoppers are continuing to embrace the tradition of Boxing Day sales, with a third (36 percent) expecting to shop online on this day.
• In the UK, increasing concern around queue lengths and road congestion is driving consumers to shop online as opposed to hitting the high street (34 percent in 2016, compared to 30 percent in 2015).
• While the older generation tends to spend money on physical gifts, over one fifth (23 percent) of millennials (18-34 year-olds) say they plan to spend more on ‘experiences’. This preference is even more pronounced among millennials in countries such as Germany.