As the Christmas retail period approaches in earnest we thought we’d highlight some of the key dates and what we can expect to happen.
After each of the key dates we will be reporting on the trends, patterns and data, so keep an eye on this blog (you can subscribe to get alerts at the top right of the page) to keep up to speed.
For a full set of predictions and for further insight download the free Festive Insights 2014 report.
Black Friday – Friday November 28
Black Friday is the name given to the last Friday in November which has, from almost nowhere, become one of the busiest UK retail days in the calendar. Black Friday was originally an American phenomenon but in the last few years it has experienced a huge spike in popularity this side of the Atlantic. Traditionally falling on the last Friday in November, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has come to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping period.
Black Friday is traditionally a day that retailers (mostly physical stores rather than websites) offer huge discounts and offers to entice customers in. The furore seems to affect the online space as well however as indicated by the fact that last year one out of every 550 UK searches in the last week of November concerned ‘Black Friday’.
Black Friday 2013 (November 29) witnessed a 19% increase in visits to UK retail websites compared to Black Friday 2012 (data taken from Experian’s Hitwise online intelligence tool). In 2014 we expect the influence of Black Friday and the activity of shoppers around this time to increase further.
Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday. Another American import, Cyber Monday, like Black Friday, has experienced an increase in popularity in the UK in recent years. Originally cooked up to give online retailers a Black Friday equivalent, Cyber Monday was an incredibly popular day for UK browsers last year. Consumers logged just over 115 million visits to retail websites on Cyber Monday 2013 – a 9% increase from 2012.
Cyber Monday will be a busy time for retail websites but due to how early it is in the month and in line with the trend of consumers to shop closer to Christmas we expect Cyber Monday to be eclipsed (read the Festive Insights Report for more on later shopping trends).
In line with these later shopping trends we expect the second Monday in the month to be popular for online shoppers. 2013 saw this trend emerge as the second Monday of December just pipped Cyber Monday. Retail websites racked up 120 million visits on this day alone, an extraordinary 10% increase on 2012, making the second Monday in December the biggest online pre- Christmas shopping day – hence, Manic Monday.
We believe that Manic Monday will continue to grow, potentially at the expense of Cyber Monday.
For the sixth consecutive year, Boxing Day 2013 was the single biggest online shopping day of the year, with UK Internet users making 129 million visits to retail websites and setting a new daily retail visits record in the process.
We predict that Boxing Day 2014 will continue this trend and will once again set records as the single biggest online shopping day. Strong growth of 15% between 2012 and 2013 suggests that Boxing Day 2014 will be huge.
So are you ready for these key dates? Do you think Manic Monday will be big for retailers? What about the next Monday?
These insights are just a snapshot of what’s available in the Festive Insights report which is available to download for free here.
Remember to check back for our reports on festive activity.
All data gathered from Experian’s Hitwise online intelligence tool.
Experian Marketing Services is a leading global provider of consumer insights, targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing. We help organisations intelligently interact with today’s empowered and hyper-connected consumers. By helping marketers identify their best customers, find more of them, and then coordinate seamless and intelligent interactions across the most appropriate channels, Experian Marketing Services’ clients can deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximise profits.