Shopping Frenzy – worth the rush?

The country has recently been gripped in a Christmas shopping frenzy as Black Friday and Cyber Monday lured customers to spend millions both online and instore.

As news crews gathered in supermarkets to capture people barreling through doors, being knocked to the ground and fighting in a bid to get their hands on cheap TV or something similar, the question is ‘was it worth it?’.


For retailers you would think so as £810m was spent on Black Friday and a further £649.6m on Cyber Monday. However, experts suggest that it’s not a major surge in shopping and therefore additional pounds, rather that the majority of festive spending was concentrated on two days.


Leading retailers such as John Lewis, Argos and Tesco went big on advertising and PR for the shopping days, picking up from the US in pushing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as THE days to get Christmas presents in. But despite recognising the retail value in aligning with what is essentially a popular PR campaign, websites of these major retailers couldn’t cope with the traffic. John Lewis, Tesco and Argos all experienced problems, while Currys’ customers spent up to an hour in virtual queues.


Equally, supermarkets which had promoted their deals as beginning at midnight were also ill-prepared for the surge of customers keen to bag a bargain. Indeed in Greater Manchester (and other areas across the country) behaviour at supermarkets was so aggressive that police were called, but reports claim police say disturbances could have been avoided as the response was predictable.


What was proven is that online shopping continues to grow but mobile-responsive websites are essential to harness this spend. Almost 405,000 online orders were placed on Black Friday and over 267,000 on Cyber Monday, and for the first time it was reported that mobile traffic outperformed desktop.


It’s fair to say Black Friday and Cyber Monday had the British public whipped into a fever pitch state this year. So what can retailers take away from the frenzied days and what can others learn from the preparation that went into such a mammoth event?


Given that the UK is predicted to become the first country to see advertising spend on digital methods surpass traditional, investing in digital infrastructure is essential. The estimate on digital advertising spend set to be over 50% and with the figures from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is more than clear now that the British public is an online customer and is increasingly reliant on good mobile channels.


Lessons for anyone engaging with customers whether you’re a retailer, service provider or professional service, investing in your website to offer good functionality, a visually appealing site and useful content is more important than ever. How does your website stack up?


This blog was provided by mmadigital, a digital marketing agency dedicated to supporting law firms and professional services. To find out more, visit