Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly £1 in every £3 spent in the UK, has so far today (as at 1pm) seen a:
- 23.3% increase in the volume of payments compared to the same period on Black Friday 2020
- 4.2% increase in the volume of payments compared to the same period on Black Friday 2019
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the volume of transactions on Black Friday, with the exception of last year, when transactions were impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and the closure of non-essential stores. Encouragingly, Black Friday this year is off to a strong start despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop.
This morning we’ve already seen an 23.3 per cent increase in transactions compared to Black Friday 2020. It’s clear that there is still appetite for the savings that are to be had, and consumers are making the most of shops being open to pick up a festive bargain. Retailers will also be pleased to see their sales volumes have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and have surpassed those seen in 2019. So far the data looks extremely promising and we should be set for one of the most successful Black Friday shopping sprees on record!
Currys, the UK’s largest electrical retailer, has seen over 56 online purchases per minute since the launch of its Black Friday deals yesterday morning. And with so many shoppers keen to snap up the best deals on the market, Currys has been gearing up to meet this peak in demand; in fact, if you stacked up all of its current laptop stock on top of each other, you’d have a tower taller than five Burj Kalifas.
The following product categories have seen the biggest growth when compared with last year’s Black Friday sales:
· Games console software
· Apple accessories
· Virtual reality devices
The below product categories have seen huge spikes in sales this month when compared with October 2021 figures:
· Smart home products – 2327% surge
· Games console software – 580% surge
· Headphones – 414% surge
· Windows laptops – 247% surge
· Large screen TVs – 285% surge
· Smart fitness & wearable devices – 1343% surge
And finally, please find the top three selling products below*:
· AirPods with Charging Case (2nd generation) – White
· HomePod Mini – Space Grey
· ActiFry Genius+ FZ773840 Air Fryer – Black
Ed Connolly, chief commercial officer at Currys, comments: “This Black Friday for consumers it’s all about hybrid working and living.
“Post lockdown consumers want products that can improve their health and wellness, home security and entertainment needs. They also want to know which smart home appliances can give them the freedom to do the mundane tasks when it suits them, while also hoping they can reduce their energy bills and being climate conscious.”
Below, Connolly shares his top tips on what to buy, and what to look for when shopping this Black Friday.
- Home Security – “Keeping our homes safe has always been a top priority but as we begin to move into a hybrid living arrangement in the UK with peoples’ time split between going to the office and working from home, even more importance is being placed on having the right smart doorbells, security cameras and hub devices to manage them. But with so many products on the market, shoppers need to be careful about choosing the right one and where they buy it from.
“Consumer champions Which? have recently found that nearly 2,000 smart tech products with dangerous data security flaws have flooded the sites of online retailers, including cheap alternatives to mainstream smart doorbells, tablets and security cameras. Whether it’s data privacy you’re concerned with or whether you’re merely trying to get the perfect product for your needs, it’s absolutely crucial that you do your research, as well as buy from a reputable retailer.”
- Health & Wellness – “The growth of the fitness tech market has been substantial with the pandemic certainly having driven a rise in demand for health and wellness products. But in a space where product differentiation can be subtle, how can shoppers be sure that the devices they’re looking at have features that suit their lifestyle and needs? Key questions to have front of mind include: does the wearable let you design your own workout programme? What metrics is it tracking and how are they relevant to you? If you’re mostly working out outdoors, how durable is the design?”
- Entertainment – “Video game popularity has also soared during the pandemic as people look for a sense of escapism and ways to connect with loved ones. Ofcom found 62% of UK adults played some form of video game in 2020, and research from GlobalWebIndex even found the 55-64 age group was the fastest-growing market, rising by almost a third (32%) since 2018.
“People are looking for the right kind of tech to provide them with the ultimate gaming experience, evaluating features from TV size and screen capabilities to stellar sound – even the chair gamers play in, there’s lots to consider. That’s why shoppers may want to make sure that any Black Friday deals they’re considering feature the functions that will heighten the overall gaming experience. For those who our buying these as gifts our instore or ShopLive experts can help them battle the jargon to find the perfect present.
“When it comes to TVs, think about the number of HDMI ports the product has and whether it supports Dolby Vision! OLED and 4K TVs offer higher quality graphics so should be considered by avid gamers. Accessories like gaming headsets also help to amp up your experience – look for products with built-in surround sound (or THX Spatial audio) for a more immersive experience and go wireless for ease of use and no lag in audio.
“All of these products play a huge role in our new reality of hybrid living, so it’s really important that even within a crowded space, customers are identifying those Black Friday deals that are spot-on for them. And if like many of us you’re too busy in the run-up to Christmas and don’t have time to do this for yourself, try and avoid faceless retailers that offer little human assistance and speak to a real-life expert.
“Our Currys tech colleagues are tech specialists and can give you detailed advice in-store to make sure that you’re grabbing the best deal you can, whether you’re looking for a new laptop, or even the perfect Christmas gift for your nearest and dearest. And if you’re keen to shortcut the queues, our colleagues are available at the click of a button through our online ShopLive video calling platform, 24 hours a day throughout the Black Friday weekend and pretty much all year ‘round.”