Black Friday, November 28th, 2014 was the biggest day in UK e-commerce history.
For some sites, it was too much to handle and they went offline under the strain. For most, it was a very busy day, with both online and offline shoppers going crazy for the discounted bargains on offer. It did, in many cases, become a feeding frenzy for bargains with some resorting to violence to claim their prize.
Obviously, Onefeed is all about online shopping so they’ve put together a comparison of the data from clients on Google Shopping. Google is significantly the largest market their clients operate in and provides a huge amount of data to build a picture of what Black Friday brought. Having divided the data between those actively taking part in some level of discounting of their usual prices, to those that chose to keep their prices at normal levels. The comparison makes for very interesting reading:
Merchants who took part in the One-day Discounts*:
Sales volume change from average trading day: +196%
Percentage of monthly revenue from Black Friday: 10.90%
Merchants who kept pricing unchanged*:
Sales volume change from average trading day: +245%
Percentage of monthly revenue from Black Friday: 10.63%
*This data was taken from clients’ Google Shopping sales data with more than 500 orders received per month, as anything lower could result in too much discrepancy.
As is plainly seen, the data is very much pointing to less of a need to discount prices, as people are already in a buying frame of mind. Looking for the best prices anyway. The data is somewhat skewed by a number of clients who use the day as a means of upping bids and kick-starting their Christmas activity. One merchant, in particular, recorded 24.5% of their total month’s sales in this one day.
Additionally, we wanted to look at the effects of this 1-day sale on future performance in the days after Black Friday. In many cases, the average daily sales volumes were significantly higher than in the days preceding Black Friday. Saying this is due to the nature and timing of the event which more than likely kick-starts shoppers into starting their Christmas shopping. Expecting sales volumes to be reduced quite significantly on the weekend after Black Friday, but that wasn’t observed in any clients’ performance data.
As expected the biggest performance gains were in electricals, appliances and computing. The more furniture orientated clients didn’t see as bigger increase with some having fairly poor days.
In summary, this looks like the media and sheer volume of marketing about the day really did drive people into a buying frenzy, which did translate into significant gains in sales. For online retail, it’s obviously a fantastic start to the Christmas shopping period. From the data obtained, this doesn’t harm the revenues generated in the days after Black Friday but providing a win-win for most.