UK Retailers reap revenue rewards as Black Friday online sales break records…

Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday we reported a 96 per cent rise in sales during the Black Friday weekend 2014, which surpassed all expectations. On the Friday alone, online retailers experienced a record breaking 96 per cent rise in sales, generating almost twice the revenue of the busiest online shopping day of 2013, December 1.

Here at BT Expedite and Fresca we experienced the largest number of online orders that we have ever recorded through our Fresca Commerce platform (FCP), the e-commerce solution behind some of the world’s biggest brands such as Cath Kidston, Karen Millen and Liberty of London. What’s more, we saw UK retailers generate an astonishing five times more revenue compared to an average shopping day. The increase in sales is largely due to the influence of increased marketing around Black Friday, spurred by mainstream media coverage. A swell in public expectation saw almost every UK retailer offer a discount over the weekend, ranging from 10 to 50 per cent, even if they did not originally intend to.

The biggest winners of the Black Friday weekend achieved their success through proper planning and forecasting early in the year. This was supported by highly targeted marketing activities including e-mailers and advertising (both on and offline). The planning also included ensuring that their eCommerce platform could support a surge in online sales. This was vitally important for those customers who wanted to reap the discounts but who didn’t want to experience the high volumes of traffic hitting the high street.  Those who did not originally intend to take part in the Black Friday flash sales will have reaped some reward, but perhaps not as much as what could have been on offer if they had planned in advance.

My colleague Richard Vining, head of performance at BT Fresca stated: “UK retailers on the BT Fresca platform witnessed significant gains, in terms of sales and revenue generated, over Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. We believe that this was perhaps buoyed by the increase in mass media coverage. Those organisations that chose to meticulously test their entire supply chain over the course of the preceding months have emerged as victors, with the demands being attributable to web traffic, site availability, fraud protection, order fulfilment, as well as delivery and returns capability. Unfortunately, there have been a number of high profile retailers who have felt the impact poor preparation has had on brand equity and customer satisfaction. Whilst none of these retailers resided on the BT Fresca platform, it is important that all retailers learn a lesson from these instances. It is vital that they remain cognisant to how eCommerce and effective advanced planning play an integral role in delivering on the brand promise.”

Personally I believe BT Expedite’s contribution to what has been the country’s most successful Cyber weekend, is a testament to the preparedness and readiness of our customers. Not to mention, the stability, scalability and flexibility of the BT Fresca platform.” Asif Khetani, director of eCommerce at BT Expedite

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