5 stats you don’t hear in common Black Friday reporting

November 29, 2016

 The Black Friday Weekend is done for another year and sales results are out. But what did consumers really make of the retail event? Maru/edr’s Crispin Boon explores exclusive data gathered over the four-day event and uncovers 5 stats you won’t find in any other Black Friday report.

Rejoice! It seems the brief days of ‘Dawn of the Dead-esque’ hordes of shopper pressed up against shop windows beadily eyeing the terrified shop assistant drafted in to open up at some ungodly hour are swiftly behind us. For some it might feel like Black Friday has always had a place on our retail calendar but it was little over two years ago that news footage first showed grown adults fighting in the aisle for bargain tellies and cut-price kitchen appliances. But as the dust settles on this year’s instalment of shoppingmania, there have been few – if any – tales of Black Friday scuffles; in fact, retailers are reporting an increase in customers conducting their shop from home.

Whilst we didn’t see the 25% increase in online spending that experts predicted, there was still a reported YoY growth of 6.7% which shows that Black Friday has – two years on – continued to attract the interest of British consumers.

Over the course of the weekend Maru/edr analysed webexit responses from online visitors to 20 of the UK’s top retailers, capturing exclusive views of online shoppers this Black Friday.

black-friday-one-iDespite all the media attention, a huge proportion of the general public don’t end up parting with any cash. The efforts of many retailers to spread the event across a full week is probably a factor here.

black-friday-two…which included looking at products on the retailer’s site, looking at those same products on other websites, looking at and trying on those products in store and saving up especially for Black Friday weekend.

black-friday-three-v3Nearly half of spending was not aimed at Christmas gifting – highlighting how many consumers were genuinely just looking for a bargain and only just over half were actually destined for under the tree.

black-friday-fourWhich suggests that simply offering discounts is not enough for retailers. The usual caveats – quality, brand appeal, necessity – still apply.

black-friday-5Somewhat mystifying given the inundation of Black Friday marketing campaigns. When you consider that 1 in 5 people had no idea, it tarnishes the glossy façade of ubiquity that Black Friday has managed to give itself.

Is Black Friday Approaching A Plateau?

Whilst its monetary success is nigh on impossible to deny, perhaps we’re seeing the beginnings of a plateau for our imported retail day? The fall of online percentage increase from a rise of 31% in 2015 to just 6.7% this year is certainly the starkest indicator of such an occurrence.

But our analysis paints an optimistic picture – and one for retailers to build on.

3 in 4 online shoppers failed to make a purchase suggesting that there’s a lot more success to be had for retailers who continue to improve their Black Friday experience.   With 21% of online shoppers not even aware of the Black Friday phenomenon – despite logging on to browse or shop on the day itself – there is still potential out there, especially for those retailers who embrace the new shopping tradition.


Maru/edr are leaders in Voice of the Customer programs with two decade’s worth of experience in the online retail market. Working across the leading UK retailers both online and in-store, their retail analysts are able to provide a unique view of current experiences in the marketplace – including ‘How to Achieve Success at the Front End of Online Retail’.