News & insight

Black Friday Lowdown

Black Friday was anticipated to be the biggest event to date in 2021. With predicted record-breaking sales of over £9.2bn across the black Friday weekend. So, what really accorded during the November event?


Black Friday was anticipated to be the biggest event to date in 2021. With predicted record breaking sales, shoppers were on track to spend over £9.2bn across the black Friday weekend. So, what really accorded during the November event?

We have gathered data to evaluate just how successful this year’s shopping event was. Predictions were made, but there were concerns of the consequences from supply chain shortages, delivery delays and recent weather conditions of Storms and snow having an impact on orders and deliveries.

Overall Black Friday Performance

Let’s look at the stats. Overall sales traffic was up 2% over the Black Friday weekend, as people start ordering their presents for Christmas, or just to treat themselves. A very minimal increase in comparison to the earlier predictions.

This wasn’t the same story for online retailers as over online traffic was down in 2021. However online marketplaces such as Shopify saw a 23% increase in comparison to 2020 Black Friday.

Overall discounts were lower than average this year, with the average discount from major retailers being 33.4%, which had deduced from 37% in October. Maybe Black Friday wasn’t the best time to shop this year.

But what were the key findings from this year’s black Friday event. We’ve highlighted what went down.

Did Black Friday come early this year?

This year was set to be the earliest peak to date. This year some brands have started and finished their sales before Black Friday. In fact, the actual date was seen to be quiet this year. Due to supply shortages, the sales were short and sweet with some companies offering purchases in the future, when they had stock back in.

Were companies interested in partaking in Black Friday?

COVID 19 is still everywhere in the news and heavily impacting industries including retail and logistics. Bringing lots of challenges, alongside Brexit, into the industry including shortage supplies. The impact caused retailers to change their tune on their approach to the sales event this year. Concerned for inventory challenges and the retailers’ dreaded out-of-stock dilemma caused some businesses to maintain or even increase their product pricing this year to avoid customer disappointment.

This is an interesting new approach to black Friday, but was it the right one? Customer loyalty is vital this year as the online market becomes more competitive. A Lack of festive spirit in the lead up to Christmas caused consumers to explore elsewhere rather than sticking to their favourite brands.

Black Friday Mobile Performance

Most of online sales were completed through user’s mobile phone. This is becoming a common way for users to shop and is an important goal to add to your business if not already. The average time spent on website is 3 seconds before the consumer makes a decisions whether to continue to shop. It is essential your UX for mobile users.

At current, only 1% of ecommerce websites meet consumers expectations. How much time have you put into your websites user experience this year? It’s really important, particularly for retailers, to have a user-friendly website as ¾ of people are more likely to return if the site is optimised for mobile users. Over the Black Friday period, Big Commerce, an online marketplaces said mobile accounted for 42% of their overall online sales.

Black Friday switches to Green Friday

Due to the current talks of sustainability and climate change, some companies took a very different approach to the November event advertising it as “Green Friday” to focus on sustainable and ethical shopping. This encourages consumers to only buy what is necessary rather than encouraging excessive shopping through extreme sales. Retailers who promote sustainability clothing and products even took it a step further and chose not to partake in the event at all.

As Black Friday comes to an end, it’s important to look back at what your business could learn from the event. Looking towards the new year and what you plan to focus on.