Rebecca Lawson

4 Lessons to make Cyber Weekend 2017 your best yet

It’s almost that time of year again: Cyber Weekend! With the festive shopping season creeping up on us, it’s essential that retailers are prepared for what consumers are expecting. This year, Cyber Weekend will run from Friday 24th November to Monday 27th November and needless to say, it’s the weekend marked in every discerning bargain-hunter’s calendar.

In 2016, Vouchercodes.co.uk and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) reported that British shoppers spent £5.8bn throughout the four-day period, a 15% increase on 2015 figures, with online retailers taking £2.8bn of this, up 20% from 2015.

So, what have we learnt from 2016 and what lessons can help you make Cyber Weekend 2017 your best yet? Visualsoft’s Megan McBride shares her insight…

CYBER WEEKEND IS AN EVER-GROWING MAMMOTH

Put simply: everyone is getting involved. Since 2014, when Amazon and Asda introduced British shoppers to the Black Friday phenomena, discounts have spread like wildfire, from tech products to retail sectors including fashion, footwear, beauty, jewellery, homeware, sports and outdoor. It’s no wonder that more and more retailers are feeling serious FOMO and are jumping on the bandwagon.

With retailers slashing their prices in the run up to Cyber Weekend, we’ve seen consumers begin their Christmas shopping even earlier to make the most of huge discounts. According to IMRG’s Consumer Behaviour Analysis, there was an 86% increase in percentage of visitors adding to their basket during Black “Fiveday” compared to the previous week, demonstrating that shoppers are on their marks and ready to buy once items are discounted.

So, it’s expected that more and more retailers will be following suit in 2017 and will be promoting discounts earlier in the marathon to Cyber Weekend.  As a result, over the extended Black Friday period, online sales reached an incredible £6.45bn in 2016 and this ultimately paves the way for what you can expect this year.

ONLINE SALES ARE CONTINUING TO GROW

According to CRR, online retailers took 48% of that spent over Cyber Weekend, with experts estimating £1.27bn was spent in the 24 hour period of Black Friday alone, a 16% increase on 2015.

Visa also revealed online spend in the week leading up to Black Friday was up 13% year on year, with almost £1bn spent on Black Friday alone. Cyber Monday 2016 saw consumers spending around £1.9bn, a 20% increase for online shopping compared to 2015, and a 76% increase in online sales.

It goes without saying, but the opportunity for retailers is real in 2017, as Cyber Weekend continues to flourish and consumer demands continue to develop.

MOBILE DEVICE POPULARITY GROWS FURTHER

Last year, according to ChannelAdvisor, mobile trumped all other channels for purchasing goods in the UK, with 64% of purchases taking place on a mobile device compared to just 48% in 2015.

PayPal also confirmed that a third of all payments were made on mobile devices and Adobe Digital Insights claims Black Friday made history last year as the first day to generate over one billion dollars in online sales from mobile devices, making up for 36% of sales for the day.

This further indicates a shift towards mobile shopping, greater confidence in mobile payments, and ultimately highlights the need for online retailers to ensure their websites are fully responsive and optimised for mobile in preparation for this year’s peak festive sale period.

CHINESE EQUIVALENT ‘SINGLES DAY’ SET TO BREAK RECORDS IN 2017

Once the largest e-commerce shopping day in China is now the largest in the world, and it’s time UK retailers got on board. In 2016, the Alibaba Group recorded global e-commerce sales reaching $17.8 billion in 1 day alone, completely overtaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The opportunity is real, people.

But what’s it all about? Singles’ Day originated in the 1990’s and is celebrated on November 11th (11/11) by young Chinese singles as the ‘anti-Valentines’ day. In 2009, e-commerce giant Alibaba saw dollar signs and jumped aboard to make it a promotional sales day for all, boosting revenue during a traditionally low sales period. Nowadays it is essentially the day to #treatyoself no matter what your marital status. And it’s going international.

With Brexit upon us and the deteriorating value of the British Sterling, Chinese shoppers will be feasting their eyes on what UK retailers have to offer on high-end luxury goods. It’s therefore a great opportunity for retailers looking to extend their reach to the huge (440 million!) and affluent Asia-Pacific consumer market and raise brand awareness overseas.

Although many British retailers, and even those in the U.S., are yet to cash in on the world’s biggest online shopping event of the year, incorporating Singles Day into your sale day calendar should be a top priority for 2018.

There are a tonne of other opportunities and hacks to make this year’s Cyber Weekend (and Chinese Singles Day!) your most profitable to date, and at Visualsoft we want to share those with you, because we’re nice like that. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog over the coming weeks where we’ll be sharing tangible insights with quick-win advice to help you make the most of the busiest retail period of the year!

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