IMRG forecasts £6.77bn Black Friday online retail spend

IMRG predicts £6.77bn will be spent on UK online retail sites over the Black Friday peak period as the annual Christmas shopping event continues to evolve in duration and scale.

The forecast for Monday November 21 to Monday November 28 is based on UK online retail sales data from IMRG and online retail site traffic volume data from SimilarWeb.

Some 51% (£3.45bn) of that total is expected to be completed through mobile devices, with smartphones accounting for a larger share of sales than tablets for the first time.

The ‘Black Friday peak period’ started out as a single day of discounting activity, which then became a weekend (in 2014), an extended period (in 2015) and now looks set to span an entire week on average. IMRG also forecasts that £1.27bn will be spent on Black Friday itself: a 16% rise on the same day in 2015.

IMRG managing director Justin Opie said: “Black Friday as an event has shown a remarkable capacity for evolving each year and it seems set to change further this year.

“How the spend is spread across the days of the week depends on two things. Firstly, while there is no consensus on campaign durations among retailers. Some are likely to try launching theirs earlier in the Black Friday week this year to secure their share of spend and steal a march on their competitors (indeed, some major retailers have already launched theirs).

“The other key factor concerns how shoppers actually respond. How early will they be willing to start their Christmas shopping? Will many just wait until the Black Friday day itself? Will they respond quickly to campaigns, pulling order volumes forward from Black Friday and potentially creating new peak days in the process? These are the questions that will shape how this period evolves in 2016.” 

SimilarWeb vice-president of marketing Nitzan Tamari added: “Looking back at the 2015 holiday season, we can see that Black Friday was the highest online traffic day in the UK with a 34% increase in visits versus other days in the season. Boxing Day comes in at a close second.

“We are closely monitoring our desktop and mobile web data both in the UK and globally in order to understand if those trends continue this year and we look forward to reporting on the Christmas season shopping results with IMRG in a few weeks.”

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is an e-retail membership community comprising e-retail businesses of all sizes: multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers.

SimilarWeb’s market intelligence solutions provide customers with insights into their market for any website or app across all industries worldwide.

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