Black Friday and Cyber Monday jointly kicked off the peak season, with a picture emerging of increased sales across the board, and a possible drift from in-store to online interest from shoppers. A blow-by-blow account of activity across the weekend can be found on InternetRetailing. Here, though, is a summary of some of the statements regarding the Black-Cyber weekend that reached the eDelivery newsdesk this week.
John Lewis applauds ops teams
In a week that saw sales up 4.8% on last year, up 27.6% on 2 years and up 60.1% week-on-week. John Lewis is heaping praise on its operations and logistics teams.
The Black Friday week was John Lewis’s biggest ever week for sales, at £187.7m. Online sales on johnlewis.com were up 15.5% year-on-year.
Between Black Friday and the following Saturday and Sunday, John Lewis processed more than 18% more parcels compared to last year; five units per second during the peak hour.
Dino Rocos, operations director, John Lewis said: “Black Friday marks the first of the three peaks of Christmas and there was huge anticipation for the day this year and high expectations to meet. I’m very proud of the fact that we delivered successfully for our customers, this is testament to work of our Partners both on Black Friday itself and in our forward-planning.”
Big data all round
Data from BT Expedite, BT’s retail specialists, shows that UK retailers recorded their busiest shopping days of the year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as an increase in order numbers and traffic compared to last year’s event.
The data shows there was a marginal increase in orders on Black Friday over last year and a rise in revenue of 8%. Cyber Monday was 5.5% up on last year’s order volume and 21% more revenue was taken.
The peak traffic levels were at 8pm on Black Friday and peak order flow was at 10pm on Black Friday. The average order value was up by 10% across the entire weekend.
Another trend evident in this year’s event was that many retailers started their Cyber Weekend activity earlier.
Mike King, chief technology officer at BT Expedite, said: “The success of this year’s Black Friday event shows the undeniable appeal of a bargain for shoppers, despite the absence of some major retailers from this sales peak. The Cyber Weekend, starting with Black Friday, has cemented its position as a key feature in the UK retail calendar and as an opportunity to secure good deals ahead of Christmas.”
The BT Expedite data also reveals strong growth in transactions on mobile devices. The average split of transactions by device was mobile: 15% (from 10% in 2014), tablet: 32% (from 31%) and desktop: 53% (from 60%).
Business as usual for Hermes
Hermes has reported a record Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, saying retail and myHermes order volumes grow by 50% on Black Friday itself, compared to the previous year.
Across the weekend Hermes successfully processed 4.8m items, compared to 3.6m during the same period in 2014, an overall increase of 34%. The company says it was ‘business as usual’ and is crediting its investment in additional capacity which saw it significantly strengthen its network and infrastructure this year.
This includes the completion of a secondary sortation tier at its fully automated distribution hub in Warrington, providing the capability to process up to one million parcels a day at that site. In addition Hermes has opened another 125 sub depots, as well as increasing the number of scanners and handheld terminals across the business and adding 3,000 couriers to its network.
Carole Woodhead, CEO at Hermes, said: “Despite the massive increase in volumes this year we coped well as a result of our investment and our intensive planning programme with our retail customers. Despite some challenges around bad weather in the North of the country we were able to deliver on time. We are fully prepared for the peak period which we expect to continue from now until Christmas Eve.”
77% lift for Snapfulfil
SaaS WMS provider, Snapfulfil experienced a 77% increase in shipments handled by its system on Black Friday, compared to the previous Friday.
Over the four days from Friday 27-Monday 30 November, Snapfulfil’s customers picked more than nine million items and despatched almost half a million shipments.
To accommodate this uplift, the company has invested in extra server capacity to maintain service levels and availability to all customers. Many customers have also taken advantage of the flexibility offered by Snapfulfil’s SaaS business model, by increasing the number of licenses and RF devices they require on a temporary basis.
Snapfulfil’s Commercial Director, Gavin Clark said: “While Black Friday on the high street was thankfully less chaotic than last year, some of our customers saw a spike in orders of up to 60% compared to the previous week showing that Black Friday is still very much alive and kicking.”
Nine out of 10 hit rate, says MetaPack
Based on data from its own platform’s usage, MetaPack has said that 92% of deliveries on Cyber Monday were on time, compared to 73% on the same day a year ago.
Patrick Wall, CEO at MetaPack, said: “Many records were broken over the Black Friday weekend, but more importantly, it was the fast and efficient response of the retail and logistics industries that proved most significant. Thanks to the depth of preparation made by both retailers and carriers, the sharing of forecasts, and the adoption of multi-carrier contracts to cover the period, retailers were able to manage capacity and worked in tandem with carriers to clear orders.”
intu gets into record-breaking groove
intu, the leading developer, owner and manager of prime regional shopping centres had a record-breaking Cyber Monday, overshadowing its Black Friday experience.
- 125,000 people visited intu.co.uk on Cyber Monday – a 127% uplift from an average day – with majority of them female
- Peak online traffic reached at 11.22am, with majority of people using mobiles and tablets to hunt for special deals
- Headphones were the most popular item purchased, followed by smart watches and Android tablets
The company said it has also experienced strong footfall at its shopping centres on Black Friday and the following day, with over one million customers visiting on both days.
Just under 125,000 unique users visited intu’s website on Cyber Monday, beating Black Friday and showing an increase of 58% on last year and 125% compared to an average day. Online traffic surged in the morning, reaching its peak at 11:22am.
In terms of the profile of buyers, 34% of visitors were females aged 18-34 compared to 17% of males of the same age group. The next highest group were females of 35-44 years compared to 8% of males of the same age. Overall, females made up 65% of the total number of online visitors.
Commenting on the record visits, Trevor Pereira, commercial and digital director at intu said: “Cyber Monday lived up to the hype this year, with a record number of visits and purchases compared to last year. Customers really made the most of the multiple channels to secure products, using both our shopping centres and online website from Friday through to Monday to tick off items on their shopping list.”
Handling a 122% increase in parcels is a Doddle
Over cyber weekend volumes experienced by click and collect company Doddle indicated that consumers are increasingly opting to shop from the comfort of their homes.
Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO, said the company saw volumes peak on Saturday with a 122% increase during the day: “Our earlier prediction that retailers would push discounts live earlier and make them last for longer proved to be true last week, with many launching their Black Friday deals on 23rd, some of which are still running. Across our own store network we experienced a 42% increase in weekly volumes last week, with each successive day showing a larger percentage increase compared to the previous week as consumers took advantage of pre-Black Friday deals.
Saturday showed the largest WOW increase, at 122%. Over 75% of Saturday’s volume came from parcels arriving into Doddle stores on next day services. This volume of next day deliveries proves that the self-gifting phenomena makes Christmas delivery cut-offs irrelevant for these customers, with as many as 40% of Black Friday shoppers buying for themselves they want to get hold of their new goods quickly.”
Main image: “Aleksi61wb” by Sigketill. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons. View original here.