Early 'Blackvember' campaigns pull Black Friday online spend down

29/11/2018

£1.49bn was spent with UK online retailers on Black Friday 2018, which was up +7.3% on the same day last year but below forecasts. IMRG looks at the trends behind the numbers.

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Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG: “While the amount spent on UK online retail sites on Black Friday was up, it was substantially below our original forecast of +13.2%; there are three possible reasons for this. IMRG monitors 260 retail websites throughout November. On the Monday leading into Black Friday week in 2017, 36% of retailers tracked had their campaigns live – this year it was 40%, including some very big names who did not go as early last year. These longer campaign durations seem to have been successful in pulling volume forward.

“The second reason relates to the category of product being sold. On Monday sales for electricals, which carries many high-cost products, were up +24%, Tuesday +16.5%, and Wednesday +17%. On Black Friday itself, sales growth for electricals was just +0.6%, suggesting much of the high-cost purchasing had already been done earlier in the week.

“The third reason relates to payday – Black Friday fell on 23 November this year, the earliest it can fall, which means there is still a Friday left in the month. For those who get paid in the last week of the month, Black Friday may have been unfortunately timed. It could mean that Cyber Monday and indeed the full week following it (which some retailers continue to market as ‘Cyber Week’) could feature significant sales activity from that group of shoppers.”

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