UK consumers to spend £7bn online this Black Friday

Almost £7 billion will be spent online in the UK over the Black Friday period and more than half of those sales will be made on mobile devices, according to a forecast by e-retail expert IMRG and market intelligence company SimilarWeb.

The data showed that shoppers would spend £6.77bn on UK online retail sites during the week of Black Friday and including Cyber Monday (Monday, November 21 – Monday, November 28).

On Black Friday itself (November 25), it was forecast that £1.27bn would be spent – up 16 per cent on the same day in 2015.

Fifty-one per cent of sales (£3.45bn), said IMRG, would be made through smartphones and tablets.

For the first time, smartphones were expected to account for a larger share of mobile device sales than tablets (53 per cent  or £1.83bn)

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 – during which time it is anticipated that a high volume of pre-Christmas sales will be made.

Said Justin Opie, managing director of IMRG: “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.”