IMRG – Black Friday online sales performance update

IMRG, supported by SimilarWeb data, estimates that total spend on online retail sites on Black Friday 2016 was £1.23bn* – a +12.2% increase on the £1.1bn spent on the same day in 2015 and almost a quarter lower than the original forecast growth of +16%.

Although the number of visitors to online retail sites on Black Friday continued to grow this year, the actual growth in sales revenue was held back by a lower-than-expected increase in the percentage of those visitors converting to buyers.

By contrast, each of the four days leading up to Black Friday (Monday 21 – Thursday 24 November) experienced strong sales growth of between 23.4% and 33.7%, with the increases in conversion rate much higher than that of Black Friday.

For the week as a whole (Monday 21 – Monday 28 November 2016), an estimated £6.45bn was spent on UK online retail sites (-4.8% below original forecast of £6.77bn) – as longer campaign durations, with new discounting deals promoted each day, served to spread the peak shopper spend over a longer period.

This raises the prospect of a £7bn online spend week for the Black Friday peak period in 2017.

Retailers launched their campaigns across the week – looking at the latest IMRG comScore Retailer Ranking, the number of top 100 retailers offering Black Friday campaigns for each day last week were as follows:

Justin Opie, managing director at IMRG: “Over the past few years Black Friday has consistently demonstrated a remarkable capacity for shifting in terms of size and scale. In 2014 the volume of orders exceeded forecast by over 30%, in 2015 we had empty shops and this year it seems to have become a genuinely extended period of heightened sales activity – taking place over a week (and more in some cases), which is not entirely dissimilar to the way that Xmas peak used to be online before Black Friday disrupted the established pattern in 2014.” 

Nitzan Tamari, VP Marketing at SimilarWeb: “In terms of traffic on both desktop and mobile to the shopping category in the UK, we are seeing a jump of 52% on black Friday and 81% for the four days leading up to Black Friday compared to 2015. While the overall growth in traffic is consistent with the general year over year growth in the category, it’s interesting that when you compare the traffic on the actual day versus the day before, you see a smaller jump this year. This indicates that retailers are creating enticing offerings earlier and consumers are feeling less pressure to buy on just one day.” 



* The estimate is based on UK online retail sales data from IMRG and online retail site traffic volume data from SimilarWeb.


Andy Mulcahy
T: +44 (0)203 696 0992

About IMRG 
For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry. 

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs. 

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.  

About SimilarWeb 

SimilarWeb is the standard for understanding the digital world. SimilarWeb’s market intelligence solutions provide customers with the insights into their market for any website or app across all industries worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of businesses, including Ebay, L’Oreal, Google and AirBnB, use SimilarWeb’s insights to understand, track and grow their digital market share.


Webinar Scroll Banner