With Black Friday kicking off the holiday shopping season, retail behemoths and SMEs brace themselves for unprecedented web traffic this weekend
Bargain hunters across the UK will have their credit cards at the ready this month for the year’s biggest cyber-shopping event – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, on 25 and 28 November respectively. Despite grumblings about overkill for a traditionally American event, last year more than £3bn was spent over the whole weekend, and Black Friday itself was the UK’s biggest day of online retail ever with at least 15 retailers, including behemoths such as Argos and John Lewis, reporting “some form of loss of service” as a result of unprecedented web traffic. Research by Royal Mail revealed that last year SMEs were particularly underprepared for the effects, with increased website traffic, stock management, deliveries and distribution being the top concern for small businesses over the sales weekend.
This year looks to be no different as research suggests that one in ten shoppers planned to burn the midnight oil to bag themselves a deal, while one in four confessed to preparing to shop online at work. SMEs may face similar problems to last year as one in five shoppers say they’ll be doing their bargain hunting online, while 10 per cent of shoppers planned to split their shopping 50-50 between online and in-store. With only 14 per cent of shoppers planning to resist the lure of a bargain and with many retailers extending their sales beyond the weekend, it’s sure to be a profitable start to Christmas.