Black Friday Forecast for 2021

12 Nov 2021

Black Friday is on its way, with its partner in crime Cyber Monday in tow, which means retail businesses far and wide should be armed and ready for one of their busiest weekends of the year starting from Friday 26th November.

When many of us think of the ominous Black Friday, we have images in our heads of people queuing up to be the first inside the shop, desperate to have the early pick of the sale; crowds rushing around and grabbing anything with a big red discount label attached. Over the years, however, this classic clichéd scene has gradually left the high street stores and shopping centres and has instead made its way to the online world.

Each year, the proportion of customers shopping for their deals online, rather than in store, increases, and it can come as little surprise that last year was certainly no exception for this. On 31st October 2020, the PM announced the second national lockdown in England, meaning the closure of non-essential high street stores for the second time within a matter of months. These events inevitably led a huge boom in online sales, particularly on Black Friday, with retail footfall decreasing by 58% by 3pm that day according to research provider Springboard.

According to an article by The Guardian, Barclaycard figures showed that payments made in both physical and online stores fell by a tenth on Black Friday 2020 (27th November 2020) compared to the year before, despite a spike in online spending. Among a variety of factors, perhaps this was linked to financial struggles caused by the pandemic, leading to fewer potential customers with disposable income they were willing, or able, to part with… as well as those who continue to prefer an in-person shopping experience choosing not to spend online.

But what about this year? Will the majority maintain the online shopping habit formed by necessity through the past 18 months or so, formed by COVID-19 and the need to isolate? Or will customers make up for lost time by stepping foot out onto the high streets in person once more? We may perhaps, for the first time ever, see a plateau in online sales compared to physical for Black Friday 2021.

Make sure you give your customers the choice to shop online, and in turn protect your retail business functionality should you have to close your physical shop, with an effective e-commerce website. KAT’s expert web developers are here to get you started and we’re just a click away… drop us a line on [email protected] or call for a chat on 01206 765544.