The Black Friday weekend is anticipated to be the largest for online sales on record as the UK remains in lockdown, according to data from eCommerce experts Visualsoft, with daily online sales revenues already having exceeded Cyber Monday 2019’s figure of £4.8 million.
These predictions come following a major surge in activity on Visualsoft’s eCommerce platform, which is used by over 1,000 retailers and processes £1.20 of every £100 spent online in the UK. The highest recorded figure for online sales is the £1.49 billion spent on Black Friday 2018, however, this year’s event could exceed this if the current sales trend continues.
Visualsoft’s platform has so far seen a 35 per cent revenue increase in the period between Monday 23rd November and Wednesday 25th November, which is indicative of shoppers taking advantage of retailers beginning their Black Friday promotions earlier than ever this year, to ease the traditional pressures of the retail peak period. Average order values have also risen by 21 per cent during this time.
Additionally, the platform has also reported a 25 per cent increase in traffic, which indicates high consumer interest in picking up a deal over the Black Friday weekend, with a high chance of conversion for businesses that have taken the time to prepare their online offering for the weekend of sales.
Separate consumer trends analysis also indicates an increased public interest in forgoing the major retail brands this year. Search engine data shows that searches for ‘independent businesses’ have skyrocketed by 139 per cent in the past week compared with the same period last year. Related terms, such as ‘support local businesses’, have seen a similar boost, having increased by 152 per cent over the same timeframe.
David Duke, Chief Operating Officer at Visualsoft said, “Black Friday has increasingly been making the move from brick-and-mortar to online channels over recent years, however, the enforced restrictions placed upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated this move significantly.
“While this means major opportunities for those that have taken the time to optimise their online presence, if your eCommerce offering is not up to scratch then you are essentially throwing away the tremendous sales opportunity afforded by the surge in demand at this time of year.
“Particularly for independent businesses, which are likely to see a dramatic influx of visitors this year from the public’s desire to support independent brands, it is crucially important to get the basics right when it comes to your online offering, or risk frustrating customers as a result.”