30 November 2015

Have you done your Christmas shopping?


Consumer behaviour is moving away from standing in queues towards staying indoors and buying online during Black Friday weekend.

It is a question you hear all too often at this time of year and I am absolutely fascinated to see how people’s responses are changing as the years go by.

This Friday was the American phenomenon known as Black Friday. Whilst last year this meant queues down the High Street, crazed crowds and rage-filled shoppers fighting over the last HD TV, this year the shops were shunned in favour of grabbing a bargain online.

Either retailers have learned from last year’s frenzied news reports and consumer chaos, and promoted online deals more heavily or consumers have led the change and chosen to stay inside and shop without the hassle.

Perhaps fighting over discounted goods just simply isn’t the British way? We Brits love an orderly queue, don’t we! As the Booksellers Association suggested maybe instead we should have Civilised Saturday to recover.

Although this year’s figures are as yet unconfirmed, retail group IMRG was reporting on Friday that online sales figures in the UK were set to surpass £1bn on a single day for the first time. That’s an astonishing figure, and one that absolutely raises challenges for businesses trying to manage the extraordinary level of traffic to their sites.

We’re doing our best to help speed up the internet enabling online retailers to make the most of the hype and incredible numbers of online bargain hunters. We think faster so you can think, perform and deliver faster.

Of course there will always be the eager shoppers waiting outside stores – Macy’s New York reported queues of 15,000 people waiting for its doors to open, according to the Independent – but for most of us, avoiding the queues and weather seems like an obvious choice.

Today, Cyber Monday, is set to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, if not, ever. Rounding off the Thanksgiving/Black Friday four-day shopping weekend, Cyber Monday is becoming more of a British tradition than Black Friday.

Hopefully we will see the sites that struggled on Black Friday – like John Lewis – boost their fire power to handle the astonishing amounts of traffic they are likely to see today. If not, as ever, we’re always on-hand to help speed sites up or help them manage the traffic!

If you’re an ecommerce site, I’d love to know how you get on today. Let’s celebrate smashing records and building up to the Christmas season. If you’re a shopper, I’d love to know what your thoughts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are.

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