Black Friday will see the UK hit its first £1bn online shopping day, according to a new report.
The report, from digital commerce consultancy Salmon, forecast that online orders on Black Friday will grow 17.6% compared with last year, resulting in a £150m sales uplift and breaking the £1bn online sales barrier for the first time.
Over the course of last year’s Black Friday online orders increased 44% compared with a normal trading day, resulting in total online sales of £850m.
The research found almost four times as many UK shoppers plan to buy online during this year’s Black Friday.
30% of respondents said they plan to purchase something this year, compared with 8% of shoppers who said they had participated online last year, according to research from consumer insight company eDigital.
Salmon also foresees consumers being savvier with their purchases, with many shoppers snapping up deals that retailers will offer online prior to November 27, when Black Friday will take place.
That, combined with increased media attention as Black Friday becomes a fixture in the retail calendar, will lead to a greater awareness of the shopping event, increasing participation and engagement, according to Salmon.
Rupal Karia, Managing Director Retail and Hospitality at Fujitsu UK, commented on the prediction: “The prediction that this year’s Black Friday will see the UK’s first £1billion online shopping day highlights both the huge sales opportunity for retailers, but also high volume of traffic retailers are set to face. With the crowding that we saw on last year’s Black Friday, retailers need to look at how the different channels can play their part in negating this, and deliver a true customer experience even at this time of heightened activity. To prepare themselves for this, retailers need to ensure that both the online and in-store are united.
Services such as click and collect will play an important role bringing digital and brick and mortar together, and therefore retailers need to ensure that they keep the front and back ends aligned to create a seamless experience on the day.
“With an ever-increasing amount of channels, it is very important that retailers take an integrated approach and deliver the same experience for customers, regardless of whether they will be making purchases on a device or in-store. Most consumers will be looking to shop with retailers who can provide the best experience possible. Only by putting consumers at the heart of the business, personalising the shopping experience and simplifying the buying process, retailers can hope to win the battle for consumers’ hearts – whether that’s in-store or online.”