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Black Friday shoppers took six days to complete online purchases…

Shoppers in the UK, US and Australia took a total of six days to complete their online Black Friday purchases, according to analysis compiled by Rakuten Marketing.

Analysing display, attribution and affiliate data factors, the research found the purchase journey generally commenced on the previous Saturday and, although Black Friday tends to cause a 20 hour cut in the total time taken to convert compared to an average weekend, shoppers still took an average of 142 hours to finalise transactions; from their first online interaction with a brand to the checkout stage.

Furthermore, shoppers took to discount publishers with their searches for the best deals, even when brands offered discounts on their websites directly. Rakuten Marketing saw 42 per cent of its conversions on Black Friday through cashback sites such as TopCashBack and discount sites including VoucherCodes.co.uk. 

Megan Dado, regional senior director of Rakuten Affiliate Europe at Rakuten Marketing said: “Although there’s certainly a shorter journey to purchase, shoppers are less impulsive on Black Friday than brands might think. Like every other day of the year, they are still researching products and where they’re going to find the best deals in advance. Shopping sites like ShopStyle perform well because publishers optimise the consumer experience in accordance with these key dates.

“Black Friday only means big sales if brands have a complete view of a customer’s journey. Armed with insights about where shoppers are discovering their brand and where they eventually purchase, marketers can work out how to distribute their marketing spend effectively.”

A shortened customer journey around Black Friday is most apparent in the number of online advertisements consumers viewed before making a purchase. Whilst the average number of impressions across retail sectors including fashion, technology and beauty is just over 22 during an average weekend, Black Friday consumers view less than five ads before transacting.

The biggest difference can be seen in electronics and jewellery. Although it usually takes the average consumer as many as 54 ad impressions before making a technology purchase, the number of ads they need to see on Black Friday drops by a staggering 90 per cent to six impressions. For the jewellery sector, the drop is 86 per cent from 30 impressions to only four.

On average, consumers in the UK took 16 per cent less time in reaching the point of sale during Black Friday week, whereas this is only a 14 per cent drop for the US.

eCommerce Christmas sales expected to hit over £16bn in the UK…

The data and market research company, eMarketer, has predicted that UK retail eCommerce sales will reach an estimated £16.9 billion during the ‘core’ season shopping period of November and December; an increase from the £14.65 billion recorded in 2015 and the rising use of consumers making purchases via their smartphones considered a major contributor to eMarketer’s predictions.

According to analysis, the smartphone medium will account for 36.4 per cent of total retail mCommerce (mobile commerce) sales for the whole of 2016, and by the year 2020, total mCommerce sales is estimated to reach 52 per cent.

Senior analyst at eMarketer, Bill Fisher said: “Retail ecommerce sales during the festive season look set to shine this year, despite the wider economic conditions in the UK. This is in no small part due to a digitally advanced consumer, who has been quick to embrace digital buying and particularly smartphone buying. And during the Christmas shopping period, these digital habits become even more accentuated.”

 

Read more from eMarketer here

Supermarkets need to take action against obesity, says Which?

The consumer rights watchdog, Which?, is urging supermarkets to ‘do their part’ in the fight against obesity, as new data collected by mySupermarket shows that, of the 77,165 promotions where nutritional data was available, more than half (53 per cent) were on less healthy foods.

Further analysis of the data – which looked at the balance of healthy and less healthy promotions available in ASDA, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose between April 1 and June 30, 2016 –- also found 52 per cent of confectionery was on offer compared to just one third of fresh fruit and vegetables (30 per cent and 34 per cent respectively). In addition, seven in ten (69 per cent) of soft drinks that would fall under the government’s proposed sugar tax (more than 8 per cent sugar) were also on promotion.

Director of Campaigns and Policy at Which?, Alex Neill, commented on the results: “Everybody has to play their part in the fight against obesity and people want supermarkets to offer more promotions on healthier foods and yet our research found the opposite. It’s time for supermarkets to shift the balance of products they include in price promotions and for all retailers to get rid of temptation at the till by taking sweets off the checkout.”

In a separate study, Which? found 29 per cent of people claim to find it difficult to eat healthier food as they believe it is more expensive than less healthy alternatives; proving to be the top reason provided for not eating more healthily.

Moreover, 51 per cent said supermarkets should include healthier choices in promotions to make it easier for people to choose healthier food. This was the top action consumers wanted from supermarkets, followed by the production of healthier options at cheaper prices (49 per cent) as well as creating foods with less fat, sugar and salt content (49 per cent).