Retailers in the UK are preparing for a record-breaking Black Friday, with almost £1bn in online sales expected, while online sales over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend (27 – 30th November) could exceed £2.2bn. After being inundated in 2014 UK retailers are, or certainly should be, aiming to be more prepared in 2015.
According to research commissioned by RetailMeNot, a marketplace for digital offers and operator of VoucherCodes.co.uk, UK shoppers are responsible for the lion’s share of Black Friday sales in Europe. While European retailers are increasingly adopting Black Friday, the UK is far and away the leader. UK retailers will rack up almost two-thirds of all Black Friday sales in Europe, with shoppers predicted to spend £966m, versus £1.53bn across the continent
US retailers are expecting shoppers to spend £1.72bn on Black Friday – an increase of 16% on 2014 – while in Canada, retailers expected Black Friday to deliver £57m in pre-Christmas sales
The research also found that online sales will top £2.2bn during ‘Cyber Weekend’ in UK, over half the £3.99 billion expected across Europe, and an increase of 15.9% versus Cyber Weekend 2014.
The top five ways in which UK retailers are preparing for a Black Friday include:
Greater promotion of in-store ‘click and collect’ services
86% of retailers hope to ease the pressure on delivery firms and ensure that customers can get hold of their purchases quickly by encouraging more consumers to collect items in-store or use ‘commute-and-collect’ services such as Doddle.
Create dedicated Black Friday shopping pages
84% of retailers are planning to more clearly signpost Black Friday deals online, so that shoppers can find deals faster and more easily, without having to spend too much time to find what they are looking for
Longer delivery time for Black Friday orders
With four weeks until Christmas, retailers have recognised that most Black Friday sales don’t require next-day delivery. As such, 78% of retailers plan to increase delivery time, with requiring up to 4 -5 additional days to deliver
Increased capacity and website bandwidth
To prevent websites from ‘toppling over’ after being inundated by shoppers, 78% of retailers intend to build extra capacity into websites and rent additional bandwidth over the Cyber Weekend shopping period
More capacity in the distribution chain
68% of retailers are planning to hire or rent more storage capacity near urban hubs, block-book delivery services in peak periods to ensure deliveries can be made, and use multiple distributors instead of a single distributor to avoid any bottlenecks during peak periods
Seemingly, Black Friday is now a firm fixture on the UK retail calendar. Delia