With less than two weeks until this year’s Black Friday, Hitwise reveals what to expect in the run up to the £5 billion, all-hour, shopping frenzy.
Based on online behaviour from over 3 million people in the UK during last year’s Black Friday, Hitwise found 35 per cent of all retail site visits were made to the Amazon website alone – who have now announced their extended Black Friday sales period. By analysing the Hitwise clickstream data, this footfall was been driven by Amazon’s consecutive morning emails on the day itself, becoming consistent across the afternoon traffic to the site.
With over 28 million online visits per hour to retail sites last year, other brands likely to lead the way this year include eBay, Argos, Tesco, John Lewis. The share of visits to different sites was found to shift hour by hour – savvy savers charged to the Argos website in the early hours, peaking in visit share at 1am. This was then overtaken by eBay at 2am.
However, by supporting their marketing with social media, Argos then peaked in terms of the number of clicks it generated, during social’s prime time period of 8pm to 10pm in the evening, reflecting consistent engagement throughout the day.
Keen to snag the first deals, from midnight to 3am the morning of Black Friday, Hitwise recorded a massive 75 per cent increase in daily visit share last year, compared to the weekly average. However, the majority of shoppers are likely to use post work down time to browse, with the highest proportion of shoppers looking at retail sites online between the hours from 8pm to 10pm last year.
Commenting on the research, Nigel Wilson, managing director of Hitwise, said: “Numerous months of planning promotions, product offerings, content and channel strategy all boil down to whether brands are actually seen and visited online. Whilst search was the largest referring channel over the Black Friday period, a multi-channel approach is still required to differentiate and personalise what you are delivering to consumers. In the week leading up to Black Friday, retailers need to acutely align their digital advertising and communication to meet consumer demand. Our data shows us that online visit share is critical and fiercely contested across every hour, over the Black Friday period. To stay one step ahead, retailers need to track their competitors channels, in order to safeguard online visibility and visit traffic. With greater insights into competitors and consumer behaviours, retailers are then able shape and optimise digital strategies for this coming retail event of the year.