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What Happened on Black Friday 2016

Black Friday is now firmly fixed as the prime time for Online Shopping in the UK and US. 

Ecommerce web traffic for Black Friday 2016

Research indicating that this is probably the last year when marketers need to bother with Cyber Monday (28th November), as both retailers and shoppers focus on Black Friday promotions. The Black Friday effect started on the previous Sunday (20th November 2016) and built through Black Friday Week, as many brands jumped the gun and released offers early.

Chart: 2016 Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales
 

Black Friday 2015

Chart: Ecommerce web traffic for Black Friday 2015
 

Black Friday 2014

CEO Mike Austin states: “It’s amazing to recall that only two years ago, Cyber Monday had more traffic than Black Friday. Yet, now shoppers seem firmly fixated on Black Friday Week and Cyber Monday has faded away. With all the changes in the UK and US this year such as BREXIT, the US Presidential election and widely reported squeeze on living standards it is clear that the appetite for a Black Friday deal remains strong.”

Chart: Ecommerce web traffic for Black Friday 2014
 

Analysis of 2016

Cyber Monday:

  • A damp squib, slightly higher than the preceeding Sunday just like after a normal weekend. It seems clear that "Black Friday" is the name that shoppers are looking out for and I expect very few brands to refer to Cyber Monday next year.

Black Friday period 2016:

  • The Black Friday effect started on the previous Sunday and built throughout "Black Friday Week", as some brands jumped the gun and released offers early. This was similar to 2015 (more details here) but totally different from 2014 (more details here), when the previous week was actually lower as shoppers waited for deals.
  • Thursday before Black Friday: (better known as Thanksgiving in the USA), continues to do well, exactly as last year. 

Traffic:

  • On Black Friday itself was very similar to last year, at about 224% of normal levels, and once again we did not see any unusual activity or notice any clients having problems. Clearly, most marketers and support staff have got the hang of the peak loads.
  • Saturday and Sunday of "Black Friday Weekend" were somewhat raised, just like last year.
  • We expect traffic to remain 10% higher than normal in the run up to Christmas, like last year.

In summary, with the exception of the death of Cyber Monday, this Black Friday week was very similar to last year.

The Data

These charts are based on billions of page views across all the clients of real-time engagement marketing company Fresh Relevance, about 50% in the UK and 50% worldwide. They are copyright © Fresh Relevance. You are welcome to reuse the charts and data on public websites, provided they are attributed prominently with a link to this page as follows: Data from Fresh Relevance Ltd.

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