Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now over for another year. We have analysed the data from our online retailers over the two days, and they paint a very interesting picture of consumer response to the online shopping frenzy.

Black Friday or Cyber Friday?

There was a lot of hype in the run-up to Black Friday; however, bricks and mortar stores in the UK were notably quieter than last year. Could this momentous shopping occasion be on the wane? No; instead it seems that Black Friday shoppers are taking their custom online. In the UK, we saw Black Friday transaction volumes rise by 32% compared to last year, while in Ireland, they rose by 28%.

“Cyber Monday is Dying” said Fortune magazine on the 28th of November. The article forecasted that 2015 would be Cyber Monday’s biggest year ever in the US but predicted a decline in relevance in coming years. On this side of the Atlantic, our data would suggest something similar. Transaction volumes were 8.5% higher on Cyber Monday than Black Friday, but while Cyber Monday is still holding its own, Black Friday experienced greater growth.

Interestingly, Cyber Monday’s overall transaction value exceeded Black Friday’s by 16.4% – nearly twice as much as the percentage difference in volume increase. It may be that consumers are using the weekend to browse for the higher value items and then committing to the purchase at their desks on Monday, or perhaps it was the case that transaction values were lower on Friday, simply because there were better bargains to be found!

What Can Merchants Learn From Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

1. Ignore Mobile at your Peril!

Mobile accounted for over a third of transactions on both days. Once again, this highlights that merchants who do not cater for mobile users are at risk of losing substantial revenue. Your customer journey should be mobile optimised from start to finish.

This, of course, includes the payment process. We provide a responsive Hosted Payment Page that adapts automatically to the device that it is viewed on. This allows merchants to provide an excellent payment process on all devices, without the need to handle sensitive card data.

2. Offering Genuine Discounts Can Really Pay Off

Attractive online discounts can considerably boost sales. One of our merchants who provided discounts across their online store experienced a whopping 836% increase in transaction volumes compared to an average Friday! However, it’s important to find the right balance – you need to think about how discounting, as well as any increase in sales, affects your profit margin.

3. Partner with Reliable Service Providers

Days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring fantastic revenue opportunities, and the last thing you want is for any part of your site to crash under pressure. There are reports that some major retailers experienced issues on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Don’t let it happen to you!

At Realex Payments, we know that the payment process is a critical point in the user journey, and we have invested heavily in our infrastructure to provide our merchants with a constant, reliable service. Our payment gateway operates at 5% capacity to ensure that we can handle any spikes in transaction volume. So go on: seize the day!

Over to You…!

We’d like to hear about your experience of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Are you an online retailer? Which day was busiest for you?

Or maybe you’re a consumer who bagged some great online bargains over the past few days. Either way, we’d like to hear from you in the comments below!