Online Retail News In Brief (29 November 2017)


In case you missed them, we’ve pulled together a few online retail news highlights from around the web this week.

Here are some of the latest stories in online retail.

Black Friday results

The numbers are in. Here’s a quick look at IMRG’s data from Black Friday.

  • The amount spent on UK online retail sites on Black Friday 2017 was up +11.7% to £1.39bn
  • This was ahead of the original forecast of +9% growth for the day
  • Of that spend, 39% was completed on a smartphone, with the device taking the highest share of sales against desktop and tablet

So what did we learn?

What we learned from Black Friday on the day itself

On Black Friday, we shared our thoughts on what we’d learned as the day unfolded.

  • Black Friday is five times bigger than an average day, but that’s only half the story
  • It’s different from other discounting events
  • There are discounts available way before the Friday
  • Black Friday is expanding beyond retail – but so far impact has been limited

Read more here.

High street footfall up (or down) over Black Friday

Sources disagree about the foot traffic to the high street over Black Friday this year. Ipsos declared the number of brick and mortar shoppers to be up 0.95% on 2016, while Springboard announced a drop of -3.6% year-on-year.

The BBC reported that Black Friday shopping was largely an online phenomenon this year.

While we’re talking about the high street…

Oxford Circus altercation sparks terror alert

Armed police responded to reports of gunfire at Oxford Circus tube station on (Black) Friday. It later emerged that a fight had triggered the incident, and the swift spread of misinformation had caused crowds to flee the area.

Oxford Circus and Bond Street stations were quickly closed, as were some shops. Once it became clear that there was no evidence of gunfire or a terror suspect, the stations were re-opened.

Free shipping is the most attractive offer to Christmas shoppers

Of the potential offers to online Christmas shoppers, free shipping is rated as the most important, as 58% of shoppers report that it would influence their purchases.

Research from Conversant, LoyaltyOne, and Epsilon finds that money off comes second at 48%, and buy-one-get-one-free is third at 37%.

Interestingly, and perhaps not too surprisingly, Millennials say that they are very likely to shop at a retailer who offers in-store technology.

1% start Christmas shopping on Black Friday

A study by Toluna and IMRG revealed that only 1% of shoppers begin their Christmas shopping on Black Friday. Many prefer to start earlier, with 31% of respondents to the survey beginning before November.

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director of IMRG: “Black Friday is probably the most important date in the retail calendar when volumes reach an annual high but, as this survey suggests, the Christmas shopping period still extends over a very long period. This is because different people approach shopping in different ways; retailers report that searches for ‘Christmas’ start to rise as early as July each year, while other people might only start thinking about it the week of Christmas itself. The opportunity is to identify these different segments and develop targeting strategies for each over that period as appropriate.”

Home-made rocket launch setback

Anti-science flat-earth theorist and amateur rocketeer Mike Hughes intended to launch a steam-powered craft to prove that the earth is flat. His plans were delayed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the US, who forbade him from launching the rocket at the Ghost Town of Amboy in the Californian Mojave desert.

He plans to reschedule the launch.

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