You already know which words I’m talking about. The chances are you’ve just blocked them out of your head because it’s too distressing to have them ringing in your ears any longer. There are four words (wow, charades, it must be Christmas!) first word sounds like Back, second word sounds like…Ok I know, this is a lot of hard work for you (and for me) I’ll just tell you.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday blasted into this country a couple of years ago and has traditionally (since the 1930s in America) marked the start of the Christmas shopping season. For a while we all panicked, thinking it meant the stock market had crashed (again), until we realised that the use of the word black actually meant retailers were ‘in the black’ at last, and all we had to worry about was being punched over a PlayStation.
As for Cyber Monday, well, to state the obvious, it’s the Monday after Thanksgiving, where people are encouraged through additional promotional offers, to shop online rather than in store. It’s pretty self-explanatory!
So what makes this period of the year so incredible? Admittedly there are few funnier things to me than watching a tide of people burst through the doors of an opening shop (right in front of a TV crew - of course) ready to lose their minds and dignity over a cheap TV. People actually get punched in the face… wow! But aside from this, year on year we see record numbers of sales, which is just phenomenal. This year was no different.
With stats I have shamelessly taken from e-consultancy and The Guardian* I’m going to break down some of the numbers for you; the huge amount of money spent, the trends within the retail market and how Black Friday and Cyber Monday spend differed this year from 2014 and within the usual annual trading trends.
- £3.3 billion – the amount UK consumers spent between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- £1.1 billion of that was on Black Friday itself
- 36% more online sales than in 2015
- £968 million was spent on Cyber Monday – an increase of 38% from 2014
- 60% more website traffic than on a normal day in 2015
- 15 retailers websites couldn’t cope with the traffic levels – these included sites such as Tesco’s, Asda and John Lewis
- 9-10am was the peak time for sales on Black Friday
- The most popular items were:
- Wearable technology (increase of 932%)
- Dyson products (increase of 208%)
- Lego (90%)
- 6% drop of footfall into stores over the weekend
- 19% of sales were conducted on handsets – 1% over tablets
- 3 times as much money was spent online during Black Friday by the UK than the US
- 22% of sales happened on Cyber Monday compared to 42% on Black Friday
What does all of this mean?
- Well, the UK outdid the US in spending during the weekend – which is beating them at their own game (now they know how our sports fans feel most of the year)
- Online sales dominated sales in store
- Peak sale time on Black Friday was just as everyone got into work to use their desktop (!)
- Cyber Monday was pretty much a regular trading day in terms of traffic – this could be due to many stores maintaining the promotions throughout the weekend and not enticing people with any new offers on Monday.
What can you do to remain relevant in the B2B space?
- Just because you’re B2B doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun
- You may have to extend your discount period over the week to keep up with competition
- Although desktop sales dominated, online promotions were key throughout the weekend. This applies to email campaigns too
- Secret discounts to select clients can lock them into sales during the peak times
- What is it that your customers actually want to buy from you? Offer them that at a discount
- If you’re expecting high traffic, put more staff on standby, ensure your website can handle it and prepare
- Track it! If sales rise during the week, make sure you understand where the traffic is coming from and what they are responding to
- Once you have all that information – plan for next year.
So there you have it – how to make the most of the busiest weekend of retail sales during the year (even if you’re B2B). At least now we can all forget those words for at least a few months before they starting ringing in our ears again. And if we in the B2B space can do some effective planning ready for 2016, we can all benefit from the furor!
*Sources of data: