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Published
Dec 1, 2021
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Online Black Friday sales lagged lockdown highs - Capgemini

Published
Dec 1, 2021

A lack of lockdowns this autumn meant online retailers failed to match last year’s Black Friday digital shopping bonanza, with trading down 14.3% year-on-year. That was slightly worse than the anticipated 10% drop, the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index showed.


Black Friday shopping online fails to match last year's lockdown numbers


However, the index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers, was up against tough year-on-year comparisons, with 2020 up 30% on the previous year, as the nation was once against told to stay at home and consumers had no choice but to shop online. 

In anticipation of this, the report said many retailers began their discounts far earlier last month. From a sample of 317, there were 25 events live on Wednesday 3 November, up from nine on the same day in 2020. However a deeper dive showed that the number of retailers with live Black Friday campaigns fell to 196 on 24 November, while the same day in 2020 had 220 live. On Black Friday the number rose and was in line with last year again.

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director for IMRG, said: “It’s early days in analysing what just happened, but it does seem logical that earlier discounting will pull share away from the peak week, meaning the stretching out of Black Friday into a month-long event looks like it is being achieved.”

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant - Retail Insight, Capgemini, added: “Online sales were expectedly lower than last year’s lockdown boosted figures as consumers returned to the high street. However, search trends have also been lower this year for terms related to Black Friday and conversion rates did not pick up as strongly. 

“As we dive deeper into the performance this month we should be able to understand if this was predominantly due to a return to the in-person experience, or whether other factors such as longer lower discounts and continued supply chain disruptions have played a part.”

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