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Three things we learnt from Black Friday 2016


Three things we learnt from Black Friday 2016


The figures are in, and it’s official: this year brought a record-breaking Black Friday.

According to the BBC, Barclaycard, which handles nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK, said it had processed a record number of transactions last Friday – 6% more than last year – and as Tereza Litza reported here [1] on Monday, this year’s Black Friday marked a significant growth in online shopping, a 21.6% increase, in fact.

All in all, Brits spent £2.9 billion on the 25th (including non-Black Friday purchases), but beyond the figures, what lessons can retailers learn from the busiest ecommerce shopping day of the year?

Mobile is winning, footfall is down

Mobile accounted for more than half (55%) of visits to online stores on Friday, according to figures, offering another easy way to shop.

In fact, it looked like shoppers didn’t want to miss a moment: John Lewis found that its busiest period to date was the half-hour between 8am and 8.30am, according to the Guardian, as people shopped on the way to work, and that from 8am to 9am, sales through mobile phones were up by more than a fifth.

Meanwhile, some shoppers were shunning the great outdoors, choosing not to brave the high streets to seek out bargains. The Telegraph reported that footfall on Friday had fallen by 7% on the high street, and 5% at shopping centres compared with 2015, according to ecommerce trend tracker PCA Predict.

Online bargain hunters like to shop early

A few major retailers in the UK reported a surge in purchases in the early hours of Friday. According to the Independent, Argos’ chief executive John Rogers said that there had been half a million visits to the store’s website between midnight and 1am on the 25th – 50% more than last year.

The same report found that John Lewis was receiving five orders a second through the night.

But some retailers couldn’t keep up with demand

Sadly, not all sites could manage the surge in traffic, and according to the Guardian, Currys PC World and Tesco customers reported glitches in the online stores in the early hours of the morning.

Over in the US, the Macy’s online store also started suffering glitches as the day wore on.

How to do customer conversion post-Black Friday

We certainly learnt some lessons on Black Friday. But how can retailers take those lessons forward to prepare themselves for the next shopping rush?

At Fospha, we work with clients to make sense of their customer data from every user transaction, interaction and device, and transform it into insights to optimise the customer journey, so you can convert more shoppers when it means the most.

Contact Fospha at for more information about how you can better serve your customers.[2]

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  1. ^ reported here (
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