Parcels still arriving from your Black Friday or Cyber Monday splurge? Or were you one of the exasperated shoppers, hoping that the endless Black Friday week emails offering deal after deal would just stop?

While early reports suggest that shopper footfall declined 4.5% compared to 2017, it’s clear that online sales were the winner of 2018, with spend up 7.3% according to IMRG, and transaction volumes up 46%. Reports from Sigma also suggest that £7 billion was spent during the period, with the majority of sales coming from online purchases.

According to retail pr intelligence company, Springboard ‘high streets fared better than either retail parks or shopping centres on Black Friday and on each day over the weekend. Footfall in high streets dropped by -4% on Black Friday compared with -5.3% in retail parks and -8.3% in shopping centres’. With so many retailers offering discounts in advance of the day itself, what started off as a one-day event fast-became a week long discount-fest for many. Retailers say this decision to extend offers and opening hours was to ease pressure on staff, servers and delivery services… Meaning we were free to shop from home, work or on the move. And we took advantage, with mobile phones taking the major strain for order placing; Argos reported a 40% increase in sales made via smartphones from last year.

And the early retail winners from the day were Amazon and John Lewis, both reporting record breaking sales thanks to a raft of deals right across the product portfolio.

This year Black Friday did face a revolt on social media, particularly on Instagram, with a huge movement towards supporting small businesses – which are perhaps less likely to be able to offer deals throughout the year. While others questioned whether the ‘deals’ available were in fact at the very best prices. Consumer group Which? urged customers to do their research following a review of Black Friday 2017 revealing that ‘nearly nine in 10 “deals” had been even cheaper at other times.’

Of course the introduction of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to the UK, has seen the traditional sales period brought forward to November, with average weekly internet sales almost tripling since 2010, according to ONS. And it will be interesting to see how Black Friday continues to evolve here. With consumers so used to not paying in full for anything throughout the year, retailers may need to rethink a winning strategy for next year to get a real uplift from Black Friday, rather than facing a boycott from consumers.

Our consumer PR agency specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer PRFood & Drink PRRetail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR