Black Friday 2016 breaks US online sales records

Adobe has revealed that this year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy broke online sales records in the US, with $3.34bn being spent online and a 17.7% increase on sales last year.

It also found that retailers who invested in mobile, email and social saw 30% more sales on average than those concentrating on just one or two channels.

Black Friday traffic up 220% on a normal day

Confirming the success of this year’s event is Qubit, which has analysed more than 50m visits from 120 UK and US retailers to discover how consumers reacted.

The results show a huge increase in both traffic and revenue.

When comparing Black Friday to a normal Friday, it found traffic was up 220%. Similarly, traffic increased 155% on Cyber Monday when compared to a normal sales day.

The same goes for revenue, which was up 240% and 380% on the Friday and Monday respectively.

Lego is the top-selling toy

Adobe’s results from Black Friday show that Lego is still a hot favourite this festive season, with Lego Creator Sets coming out as the top-selling toy.

This was closely followed by Razor electric scooters, Nerf guns, DJI Phantom Drones and Barbie Dreamhouse. 

With items under $300 being 20% more likely to sell out, this gives us a good indication of the toys parents need to snap up if they still want to get them in time for Christmas.

The five bestselling electronics from Black Friday were Apple iPads, Samsung 4k TV’s, Apple’s MacBook Air, LG Televisions and Microsoft Xbox.

Travel companies see greater interest than in 2015

Data from Sojern shows that consumers spent more on travel this year than last, specifically taking advantage of Cyber Monday.

On the Monday, there were 32% more searches for flights from the US compared to the week before. 

Similarly, while 2015 saw an increase in bookings of 9%, this Cyber Monday resulted in a jump of 21%.

Out of the most searched for destinations, Italy, Japan and Colombia were in the top 10, while Canada, Haiti and US Virgin Islands were among the most-booked.

Consumers embrace mobile shopping

According to PayPal, Black Friday demonstrated the enormous growth of mobile shopping and its popularity with consumers.

On Black Friday, one third of all PayPal payments were made on mobile devices, as PayPal handled $15,507 in payments per second.

Cyber Monday resulted in similar activity, with PayPal seeing over 50% year-on-year growth in global mobile payments.

Based on the data, it is also expecting more than 40% year-on-year growth in total payments.

Brits more confident in shopping on mobile

While results show that mobile overtook desktop as the most preferred shopping channel overall, data from ChannelAdvisor suggests that Brits are more at ease than US shoppers when it comes to following through on mobile purchases.

Throughout the five-day sales period, 75% of shopping searches in the US took place on mobile devices, however, mobile accounted for less than one in two purchases.

Meanwhile, despite the percentage of UK shopping searches on mobile platforms being slightly lower, more than three in five sales conversions took place on mobile.

1.2m app installs on Black Friday

Continuing the mobile trend, it seems there was a significant increase in retailers targeting consumers via mobile apps this year.

According to Urban Airship, retailers sent 56% more holiday notifications in 2016 than in 2015.

The big difference this year was retailers embracing targeting, with 88% of notifications being highly targeted to shopper’s locations, preferences and behaviours. Only 12% of messages were broadcast to everyone.

The data also shows daily app installs averaged more than 696,000 per day in November, up 24% from the average daily rate in October. 

On Black Friday itself, there was a peak of more than 1.2m app installs.

Gilmore Girls generates more excitement than Black Friday on social

The latest data from Spredfast shows that there was a huge increase in noise around Black Friday this year, with the event racking up 2.4m mentions on social media – over 1m more than in 2015.

However, insight suggests this could be due to more interactions on social overall, rather than direct interest in the shopping event.

Despite Black Friday trending in many of these countries last year, the hotly anticipated return of Gilmore Girls, and the hashtag #GilmoreGirlsRevival, came out on top in France, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland and Germany.

Rise in footfall to UK high streets

Springboard has analysed where UK consumers did their shopping on Black Friday, measuring both online sales and footfall in high streets and retail parks.

It found that, while online transactions rose on Saturday by 1.9%, they had dipped by 5.5% on Sunday compared to last year. Footfall also dipped by 0.6%.

In terms of the entire weekend, online transactions rose by just 2.3%. 

Footfall declined by 0.5%, however the 1.4% uplift in footfall to high streets apparently demonstrates the increasing importance of leisure-based trips to retail destinations.

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