Consumers across the UK are expected to spend millions at online checkouts over the next four days as the nation gears up for the biggest shopping season of the year, according to the latest retail news from Barclaycard.
With online spending growing by almost 10% so far in 2014, and the majority of the big UK retailers set to offer their best deals this Black Friday, current trends indicate the next four days will be among the most lucrative online sales periods on record.
Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of all card transactions in the UK, saw Black Friday take the UK by storm in 2013, with online sales rising by 40.9% against 2012 and an average of £62 being spent per purchase.
Black Friday jumped to the top of the list of online spend days last year and to second place for total spend over the Christmas period – up from tenth position in 2012.
In comparison, Cyber Monday saw a rise of 9.7%, and an average spend of £57.
Barclaycard’s data also shows that while the days leading up to Christmas continue to be the highest overall spend days (Monday 23 December was the highest for overall spend in 2013), over the past two years consumers have shifted more of their spend toward periods with the most-hyped deals.
In-store purchases on these notorious sales days also saw growth of 16.1% on Black Friday and an increase of 2.4% on Cyber Monday. However, the focus on online suggests consumers prefer to stay away from the busy crowds and keep warm during the pre-Christmas sales frenzy.
Fashion purchases are anticipated to be strong after this category led the way for Black Friday spending last year, with a 65.1% rise in online purchases as consumers searched for the best deals to update their wardrobe ahead of the Christmas party season.
Electronic stores can also expect a boom this Christmas, having received a 45.3% rise in online spend on Black Friday in 2013.
|2013 – Black Friday||2013 – Cyber Monday|
|Online y/y spend growth||40.9%||9.7%|
|In-store y/y spend growth||16.1%||2.4%|
Chris Wood, managing director, Barclaycard, said: “The majority of consumers now expect more value from their purchases, and are increasingly being drawn to the great deals being offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Over the past year we’ve seen consumer confidence grow steadily and this is now being echoed in spend growth.
“It seems UK shoppers can’t resist a bargain, however, which accounts for the boom in online sales we’re expecting this year. As the trend for bargain hunting Christmas gifts shows no sign of dying down, online retailers can look forward to a successful long weekend of shopping to kick off the Christmas shopping season.”