In the US, Shopper Trak data pointed to a 1.7% decline in foot traffic on Black Friday versus 2017, while Adobe Analytics reported e-commerce sales jumped 23.6% year on year. Business Insider reported separate figures from GlobalData Retail predicting a 33% jump in online shopping spend over the whole Black Friday weekend, while in-store sales were expected to grow at just 1.9%.
In the UK, footfall was 5% down over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to figures from Springboard; shopping centres fared worse, with footfall down more than 8% over the same period.
Figures from Loqate, meanwhile, suggested that between midnight and 10am on the Friday online transactions in the UK rose 55% on 2017, including a 78% boost before 7 am.
“It’s clear from the data that there is still appetite for good deals if they can be done on shoppers’ terms, and from the comfort of their own home,” said Loqate commercial director Matthew Furneaux.
A growing preference for online shopping should hardly surprise traditional retailers, given the scenes of shopping carnage that used to accompany news stories about Black Friday. But reports from the US suggest that several have simply managed to recreate something of that experience online.
Bloomberg listed Lowe’s, Walmart, Lululemon and Kohl’s among retailers that had had to deal with glitches and malfunctioning websites and subsequent customer ire. “E-commerce isn’t yet the [legacy retail] industry’s forte – despite heavy investment and plenty of lip service about how far they’ve come,” it observed.
Physical retailers in the UK also have to contend with “shopping fatigue” as the high street resorts to discounting to attract consumers.
“We’re becoming discounting immune,” according to Diane Wehrle, market and insights director at Springboard. “We’re used to 20% off all the time now so when it gets to Black Friday people feel they’ve already had it all,” she told City AM.
Sourced from Shopper Trak, Business Insider, Bloomberg, City AM, Retail Gazette; additional content by WARC staff