Online spending reached £1.23 billion on Black Friday last week compared to last year’s figure of £1.1 billion, according data from IMRG.
However, while this year’s Black Friday spend was a 12.2 per cent growth compared to the same day in 2015, it was still less than the initial 16 per cent growth – or £1.27 billion in spending – that was forecast by the UK’s leading online retail association.
UK consumers also spent £6.45 billion online over the Black Friday peak period from November 21 to Cyber Monday (November 28), but this was also less than the £6.77 billion that was originally forecast.
The IMRG said that while the number of visitors to online retailers during Black Friday grew this year, there was a lower-than-expected increase in the number of those visitors actually buying items which impacted on sales growth.
“Over the past few years Black Friday has consistently demonstrated a remarkable capacity for shifting in terms of size and scale,” IMRG managing director Justin Opie said.
“In 2014 the volume of orders exceeded forecast by over 30 per cent, in 2015 we had empty shops and this year it seems to have become a genuinely extended period of heightened sales activity – taking place over a week (and more in some cases), which is not entirely dissimilar to the way that Christmas peak used to be online before Black Friday disrupted the established pattern in 2014.”
Meanwhile, high streets around the country enjoyed a spike in footfall during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend as retailers offered discounts in-store rather than just online.
In London’s West End, 3.6 million shoppers flocked to the region.