12 December 2016

Online shopping boosts Black Friday

3 minute read


  • This year Nationwide customers spent over £272 million on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined - an increase of over 33% in total spending when compared to last year
  • e-commerce transactions jumping by over 66% when compared to an average day
  • The busiest period was lunchtime for both days as customers completed purchases during their lunch break and this is consistent with the trends set last year.

Head of Payments, Paul Horlock, reveals some insights around this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This year Nationwide customers spent over £272 million on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined – an increase of over 33% in total spending when compared to last year. On Black Friday alone, Nationwide customers spent around £104,000 a minute on average throughout the day and with sales starting even earlier this year we saw an additional 575,000 transactions in the three days leading up to Black Friday.

A couple of really interesting trends stood out to me this year, firstly on Black Friday we saw a dramatic uplift in online purchases, with e-commerce transactions jumping by over 66% when compared to an average day, and accounting for around half of all transactions on Friday. Reports in the media were reflecting this with suggestions that stores were emptier than normal. This trend was continued on Cyber Monday with over 1.3 million online transactions completed as our customers opted to shop from the comfort of their homes or offices rather than hitting the high street.

The busiest period was lunchtime for both days as customers completed purchases during their lunch break and this is consistent with the trends set last year. However, the second thing which jumped out at me was the large boost of early morning shoppers on both days, turning to Cyber Monday there was a 70% uplift in transactions at 3:30 am when compared to last year. 

For Black Friday this boost was much more pronounced, with a 172% increase in transactions at 3:00 am when compared to the same time last year. I’m not sure what drove this early morning boost in transactions, perhaps when some of the online retailers released deals and delivered the marketing emails. Although, I hope that these customers got an offer worth staying up for!

Entertainment saw the biggest jump in volume of transactions with a 33% increase when compared to Black Friday last year. Interestingly, the amount of money spent in department stores increased by 3%, when compared to last Black Friday, although transaction volumes actually dipped by 2.7%

Nationwide customers were spending at some of the large high street brands with 168% more transactions with Currys than the previous day and a 73% and 104% increase in transactions with John Lewis and Debenhams respectively. The largest single retail transaction by a Nationwide customer was at John Lewis at over £12,000 and across Black Friday, 29 year-olds spent the most money.

This year’s Black Friday was really more of an online event, perhaps the first ‘Cyber Friday’ and it will be interesting to see if customers next year continue the trend of moving online to avoid the rush on the highstreets. As the sales continue and we predict a further boost in pre-Christmas spending over the next few weeks, customers can find tips on how to shop online safely at nationwide.co.uk

About the author

Paul Horlock

Paul Horlock is Head of Payments and represents Nationwide on the Payments UK Board.

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