Black Friday 2015: Ushering in New Traditions and Continued Mobile Momentum in Europe

For a few years now Europe has adopted the Black Friday shopping tradition, with many retailers launching massive sales on what is now the official start to Christmas shopping across the world.

Given the chaos in the shops experienced on Black Friday in 2014, it’ll come as no surprise that many European shoppers chose to do their buying from the comfort of their armchair. What’s more surprising is they increasingly chose to do it via their phone rather than larger devices.

Crunching the numbers across RichRelevance’s global network of retailers, we saw virtually double the number of purchases online over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend in 2015, compared to 2014. View all our facts and figures for this holiday weekend in this infographic.

Black Friday still proved the most popular day of the weekend with four times as many sales on Black Friday compared to Cyber Monday. Across Europe, the peak shopping hour proved to be 10-11am on Black Friday, with €300 million in sales taken during these 60 minutes on the RichRelevance platform.

In stark contrast to 2014 when the majority of research was done on a desktop, 2015 saw nearly half of all research done via mobile and tablet devices. And out of the two it was the smaller device, which saw the most research compared to its larger tablet cousin.

While the majority of purchases were made via desktops, again it was the phone rather than the tablet, which generated the most sales volume. In fact sales volume on tablets halved year on year. Similar insights were highlighted by IBM in ‘Black Friday goes mobile,’ a recent article in Marketing Week.

The jump in popularity of online research and purchases caught some retailers off guard as they struggled to cope with the volume of traffic and transactions made online this year. However, those retailers who go their online offers (and infrastructure) right this year were the big winners. For example Curry’s PC World recorded 5 online orders per second, up 56% on last year and John Lewis recorded its biggest ever single day’s trade which they noted was mainly driven by johnlewis.com*.

A key challenge for retailers with such high demand online is the cost of fulfilment, and potential volume of returns. At least some retailers have learnt the lessons of 2014 when problems arose with missed deliveries due to inability to cope with demand. This year, couriers have been much more organised, working closely with retailers on the volume they are able to take, for example limiting the number of ‘next day delivery’ capacity to avoid disappointing consumers**.

Reviewing EMEA’s results for this Black Friday suggest it is a tradition that is here to stay and one that is certainly tipped to replace the previous Boxing Day sales of old. After the chaos of 2014, retailers this year coped with the increased demand admirably. The clear winner is the consumer who benefits from great deals on Christmas purchases wherever and whenever they choose to shop.

*Source Marketing Week
**Source Retail Week

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This post was written by Harriet Fletcher

ABOUT Harriet Fletcher
Harriet is Director of Marketing in EMEA for RichRelevance and is responsible for all marketing activities across the region.
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