Payments business Visa Europe predicts that £518m will be spent on Visa cards on Black Friday (November 28), making it the biggest day for e-commerce in UK history.
Visa Europe forecasts that online transactions will top 8.5 million on the day, up 22% on 2013. Black Friday will be followed by £500m spent online on December 1 – also known as Mega Monday. In total, the UK will experience a £1.7 billion Cyber Weekend with a record 31 million online transactions predicted. As with Black Friday, Mega Monday will see transactions peak in the evening as shoppers go online after returning from work, or increasingly shop on their smartphones on the commute home.
A promotions phenomenon that originated in the USA, Black Friday took a significant leap forward in the UK in 2013. In 2014, retailers look set to build on it further, extending the UK’s annual e-commerce peak over a full weekend. Visa bases its predictions on up to the minute spending data and previous years’ Christmas spending trends. Over £1 in every £3 in the UK is spent on a Visa card, making this data the most reliable indicator of trends in consumer spending, Visa Europe claims.
Managing director UK & Ireland Kevin Jenkins said: “Black Friday has become the UK’s biggest online shopping day and we’re forecasting £518m to be spent this year. Following a jump last year, retailers are making a bigger Friday push this time around.
“At the same time, Mega Monday, which used to be the biggest online shopping day, will reach its own new high this year, surpassing £500m. Altogether, we are looking at a £1.7bn Cyber Weekend. This year is also likely to see continued growth in shopping via tablets and smartphones, with commuters using the journey home to shop for their loved ones. Overall, online shopping now accounts for more than 25% of spend with Visa in the UK, signifying the confidence that consumers have in the security of online payments and in the delivery of goods.”