The holiday season begins October 31 and ends January 4 and it is punctuated by festivities such as Thanksgiving (in the US), Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and the New Year. Black Friday is an important event in the retail calendar, often driving traffic about 200% normal activity levels.
So what do you need to know and expect this coming Cyber Monday and Black Friday? Let us help you out:
eCommerce Web Traffic for Black Friday 2016
Looking at last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends will help predict the trends that will occur this year, so let’s talk about what happened in 2016.
- On Black Friday itself last year, traffic reached about 224% of normal levels, which is also very similar to the traffic levels from the year before.
- In 2016, the ‘Black Friday Effect’ started the Sunday before the day itself and sales built throughout what was named ‘Black Friday Week’.
- The day before Black Friday (better known as Thanksgiving in the USA) also attracted high levels of traffic last year, as it appears to do most years.
- Cyber Monday was an unsuccessful day for traffic in 2016 in comparison to the years preceding, with significantly less traffic than 2016’s Black Friday and Thanksgiving, too.
So What’s Coming This Year?
Drawing from the traffic trends during the Black Friday period from previous years, we have some clear expectations for the fast approaching 2017 Black Friday:
- It's likely that traffic will once again reach around 200% of normal levels his Black Friday, as it has done for previous years, so make sure you're prepared for a surge in traffic! Forbes has even predicted that consumer spending during Black Friday Weekend will increase by 47% from the same weekend in 2016.
- We also expect Black Friday reductions to commence around a week before the 24th November, creating the effect of a "Black Friday Week" as businesses have been jumping the gun and releasing deals earlier each year, with 79% of retailers planning to begin promoting deals earlier than in 2016.
- One day in particular has been predicted to be significant for online retailers: Wednesday November 22nd, the day before Thanksgiving in the US and two days before Black Friday itself, is thought to be when the best, most popular deals will be released.
- Cyber Monday is expected to play a lesser part in attracting such drastic increases in traffic this year. Due to the lack of attention it received last year, it seems clear that shoppers are looking out for Black Friday more, and this year many brands will prioritize it over Cyber Monday.
- Retailers that use mobile optimization are predicted to see success this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as 60% of shoppers research products using mobile devices and shoppers under pressure on these shopping holidays are likely to show little tolerance for poor mobile performance. If you're not optimized for mobile, now's the time to fix that so you don't miss out on vital sales this holiday season!
Download our 2017 guide to holiday digital personalization to see if you're ready!