E-tailers shift Black Friday strategies but sales struggle
Retailers are adjusting their Black Friday-linked sales strategies to offer earlier promotions as consumers spread their shopping across the month rather than focusing on a late November frenzy.
That’s the conclusion of Capgemini and IMRG that have been monitoring the online market and seeing “a huge uptick in the number of retailers activating early Black Friday offers so far this month”.
The first half of November shows retailers have significantly accelerated their Black Friday sales campaigns compared to previous years.
There’s been a 78% increase year on year for early activations, during the first two weeks of November, compared to the same period in 2021 based on a tracker of 305 retailers run by IMRG and Capgemini.
But the activity hasn’t necessarily been a success with online sales down 2.7% for the first week of November. The Average Basket Value (ABV) also saw a decline from £140 to £135, “confirming that the current economic climate is making consumers cost-conscious and careful about how much they are spending this year”.
That said, at a category level, beauty (+6.9%) saw a positive impact from a number of large retailers in this category bringing their sales forward.
Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, said: “A substantial increase in the number of retailers, particularly large ones, with a Black Friday campaign live in the first week of November still didn’t push overall growth positive.
“The categories with the highest number of early participants were home & garden, health & beauty, electronics and clothing. Home and beauty seem to have benefited the most, but electronics, where retailers focused heavily on TVs for watching the World Cup, was still down 9.4%, against -14% for the same week in 2021, so that feels like a disappointing response from shoppers.”
Simon Binge, Commerce Senior Manager, Customer Transformation at Capgemini, added: “As predicted, UK retailers are beginning their Black Friday campaigns earlier than ever before in an attempt to stimulate demand. What is more surprising is the number of retailers who have launched their campaigns early – more than double each day from 2 November compared to the same days in 2021 – but also the relative lack of activity from shoppers.
“Despite a huge amount of activity from retailers sales for the first week of November still trail last year. These early results are likely to be causing retailers to review their promotional plans for the Black Friday weekend, opting for deeper discounts and more attractive promotions, with the goal of winning the greatest share possible of an ever-shrinking wallet.”
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