Online comes out on top for Black Friday 2017

The "cyber week" sales were a big boost for retailers - to a point
The "cyber week" sales were a big boost for retailers - to a point

In news that will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody, there was a huge spike in online shopping this past week as shoppers flocked to take advantage of the "Black Friday" sales across a range of retailers.



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1 December 2017 | 0

A whopping £1.4bn was spent by UK shoppers as part of the “Black Friday” sales phenomenon this week, an increase of 11.7% on the same period last year. Conversely, figures show that footfall figures in traditional shops – which the Black Friday endeavour was originally designed to give a boost to – were down by 3.6%.

Partially, the reason e-commerce shows no signs of slowing is because consumers relish the idea of being able to shop around to find the best deals, especially when it comes to sales, in the comfort of their own homes. There is simply no competing with that kind of convenience and value combined.

Another suggestion is that the customer experience, also when compared to the above, is lagging behimd. For many shoppers, the in-store experience just isn’t good enough.

According to Craig Summers, UK MD at Manhattan Associates, if retailers are to make the most of Black Friday, they need to make sure they are giving customers a reason to shop in store. “Stores need to offer a truly omni-channel retailing experience by offering the same deals and the same quality of experience in store as online to lure consumers,” says Summers. “For those retailers still allowing their stores to compete with online, now is the time to make a change.

“Retailing in a customer’s eyes is channel-less and therefore the retailers should be seeing this the same way,” he adds. “The stores need to stop viewing the online channel as a threat, and work seamlessly alongside them to offer customers a unified experience, or risk losing them to another retailer.”

If there is one thing to take from this year’s Black Friday sales, it is that they are very much here to stay and retailers must continue to invest and deliver an omni-channel experience if they are to succeed both online and in-store throughout peak, Summer says.

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