Home Business News Black Friday starting earlier than ever, sales up YoY, but biggest growth in days before

Black Friday starting earlier than ever, sales up YoY, but biggest growth in days before

by LLB Finance Reporter
30th Nov 23 11:43 am

Black Friday revenue increased by 14% YoY according to the UK’s fastest eCommerce platform provider Visualsoft, suggesting a larger than expected appetite for spending from consumers, and a resilience from retailers through what was predicted to be a challenging winter.

This was driven by an increase in the number of orders, up 12%, and a small rise in Average Order Value (AOV), which rose 2% compared to 2022.

Over the peak trading window of Black Friday through to Cyber Monday, revenue increased above inflation rates. The average increase for the four day period was 8%, with Black Friday revenue up 14% and Cyber Monday up 15%.

Chris Fletcher, VP of Operations at Visualsoft said: “We can see both Friday and Monday performed very well. Over the weekend while there were increases, they were very minor, and under inflation, which has dragged down the overall period sales, although it is still ahead YoY. But in a cost of living crisis and in an economic downturn this is still promising for retail.”

Flooring, rugs and carpets increased by an impressive 88% YoY through the Black Friday – Cyber Monday period. Gifts, gadgets and games improved their sales through the weekend by 95% on the Saturday, giving them an average improvement of 30% for the sales period. Vaping sales improved by almost 40% YoY.

Electrical goods performed worse than last year (down 31% over Black Friday – Cyber Monday) but the sector did see a peak in sales prior to Black Friday, suggesting people were snapping up deals earlier to ensure stocks were in place after challenges in previous years.

Fashion improved by almost 30% year-on-year through the Black Friday trading period and lingerie and underwear improved YoY by almost 70% in revenue. Yet health, beauty and cosmetics suffered in comparison to last year, losing almost 10% in sales, although the category did hit a high conversion rate of 11% on Black Friday. Jewellery also declined YoY, dropping 6% in average revenue.

Most retailers in fact saw higher digital footfall prior to Black Friday. This implies shoppers receiving marketing about Black Friday in advance of the day were more likely to spend, with many consumers checking out deals and prices in advance of the peak trading weekend.

Each year, on Black Friday itself, orders by hour follow a very similar pattern, with orders spiking at midnight when many sites queue offers to go live. Visualsoft’s data then shows a steep increase in orders from 6am-10am as people log on before work to grab bargains.

During the working day, while orders remain high, the data shows a slow decline in the number going through until 7pm. Between 7-8pm orders rise again to a similar point seen at 10am. Orders drop off rapidly after 9pm as people log off for the night.

Despite predictions that consumers would be preferring to split payments with ‘Buy Now Pay Later’, data from VS Pay – Visualsoft’s payment platform – shows that people are clearly opting to buy up front. Apple Pay was responsible for 25% of Gross Merchandising Value (GMV), showing a preference for ease and convenience.   Mobile usage also increased 3% YoY, up 60% across all transactions, with people making purchases on the go.

Ian Hyde, Head of Digital Performance at Visualsoft said: “What we’re seeing is that when retailers plan early, and with the right wraparound marketing campaigns, they can harness an appetite from consumers for deals right throughout November. The biggest success has come from our retailers who used drip feed email marketing and backed it up with deep discounts that are compelling.”

Gary Murray, Head of eCommerce at Leaders said: “We are thrilled to report a phenomenal sales performance during this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday events. The strategic efforts from Visualsoft have propelled us to not just break, but shatter our daily and weekly sales revenue records. This Cyber week has set a new benchmark, boasting the highest daily sales in the history of our business—a testament to the successful campaigns and the unwavering dedication of the team in collaboration with Leader Team.”

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