Black Friday sales set to top £9bn with online stampede

xmas_2020Retailers which have decided to shun Black Friday are likely to miss out on a £9bn bonanza, with sales rising 15% year-on-year and online shoppers spending millions of pounds per minute over a single day.

According to data from VoucherCodes, ecommerce spend is set to rise by 20%, despite stores being open.

Across the four-day promotional weekend, sales are set to peak on Friday itself, during which consumers are forecast to spend £3.385bn, equating to £3.38m every minute. This figure is a 21.7% increase on 2020’s Black Friday sales (£2.782bn).

For the first time since 2019, non-essential retail stores will be open for in-store promotions this Black Friday. Despite this, online sales are still expected to make up the lion’s share of profits with £5.738bn worth of goods set to be purchased online over the course of Black Friday Weekend – 62.7% of total sales over the four days.

In a sign that consumers have adapted their shopping behaviour long term as a result of the pandemic, the online share of Black Friday Weekend spend is forecast to be up compared to 2020 even though non-essential retail will be open this year. In 2020, 60% of sales from the four day Cyber Weekend happened online, making up a total of £4.770bn – 17% less than the forecast 2021 spend.

Meanwhile, research from ecommerce giant Shopify has revealed that 55% of consumers plan to buy during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Black Friday sales will see over a third (36%) of consumers spend more than in 2020, with an average of £363 over the weekend.

Shoppers will use social media to complete purchases more than they have in previous years, confirming the shift towards social commerce.

About half of younger shoppers (ages 18 to 34) are planning to purchase from Facebook (55%) or Instagram (49%) and about a third from TikTok (34%) and Pinterest (32%).

Shopify managing director of EMEA Shimona Mehta said: “Customers across the UK will be shopping and spending on all channels for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and it’s more important than ever for brands to learn where their customers are looking for deals, learning about their product, and making their purchases so they can continue to personalise experiences.“

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