Black Friday online sales ‘stronger than expected’ with smartphones taking lead

The amount spent on UK online retail sites on Black Friday 2017 was up 11.7% to £1.39bn, according to data from IMRG.

This was ahead of the original forecast of 9% growth for the day.

Of that spend, 39% was completed on a smartphone, with the device taking the highest share of sales against desktop and tablet.

This stronger-than-expected performance was achieved in spite of a number of factors that were expected to have a negative impact on sales growth including the fact that Black Friday was earlier than payday for many people and businesses outside the retail sector also offer Black Friday deals.

The extended Black Friday sales period was also expected to affect the actual day negatively.

IMRG tracked 210 retailers throughout November as part of its research and discovered that the number running Black Friday specific campaigns peaked on the Friday at 168.

However, at the beginning of the week there were already 77 actively promoting Black Friday campaigns (as well as 37 running their own discount campaigns), with that number increasing sharply on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Activity seemed to accelerate on Wednesday as many switched on their campaigns – yet this was not reflected in the sales growth for that day, which was up just 2.8% – the lowest rate for any day that week.

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