Is Black Friday or Cyber Monday Better for Business?


As soon as Thanksgiving is over in the U.S., there’s a long weekend which proves to be the most important four-day stretch for the retail year. Black Friday is followed up by Cyber Monday, two days of heavy sales which herald the beginning of Christmas shopping. But which is better for your business if you can only focus your marketing efforts on one? Let’s take a look.

Increase in Sales

First of all, it’s important to compare the way sales are boosted on these days, compared to any other normal day of the year. On Black Friday in the UK in 2015, sales rocketed by 223%, according to data gathered from the day by My Voucher Codes. That’s an incredible difference and shows that this really is the most important day for retail, particularly brick and mortar businesses. On Cyber Monday, website traffic increased by 60%. While that’s still a very large increase, it’s not as impressive as the Black Friday data. Still, e-commerce businesses should be looking to Cyber Monday for a big boost.

Daily Annual Spend

How about how much we spend on each of these days? The interesting news here is that it’s somewhat comparable. While more sales and traffic come on Black Friday, the expectation for discounted prices may mean that actual profits are lower than they might otherwise be. £943 million was spent in the UK on Cyber Monday, while the figure skyrocketed to £1 billion on Black Friday. Once again, Black Friday seems to win the battle – but only just. It’s also important to note that Black Friday is older, having been coined in the 1960s, while Cyber Monday didn’t come about until 2005.

Year on Year Growth

How about how quickly the UK is picking up these sales? Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are most closely associated with the U.S. The tradition started in the first place as many employees were given the day after Thanksgiving off, which led to increased sales. But in the UK, it does seem to be steadily growing too. Sales year on year were up 35% for the Friday, and 34% for the Monday. That seems pretty close. Given how long Black Friday has been building up for compared to Cyber Monday, you might even suggest that the online event is growing faster than expected.

Overall Weekend Statistics

So how does the weekend do as a whole? Online sales across the whole weekend increased by 11% year on year, which is certainly fantastic news for e-commerce. Amazon alone managed to sell £7.4 million worth of products over the four days. That sounds like a big win for the retail giant, but we see it as a big hit for online and independent businesses too. The total sales across the weekend were £3.3 billion, so in reality, Amazon only has a small piece of that pie. This means that there is still plenty of room for smaller e-commerce sites and bricks and mortar businesses to muscle in on the profits.

From the data, it looks like Black Friday is the big date to focus on – though that may change in the near future. If you’re looking to market to customers, remember that the whole weekend counts. The best advice might be to run sales from Friday through to Monday, to take advantage of all of the shoppers who come back for more after their big Friday spend.

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