Scroll, Click and Buy: Black Friday and the E-Commerce Shift

E-Commerce, Black Friday and the Role of Social Media

Black Friday has rolled around, however this year things are a little different. Hectic crowds, altercations over items and tense mid-queue interactions cease to exist in our newly restricted conditions. This Black Friday will more likely involve you scrolling, clicking and buying from the comfort of your sofa.

The popularity of e-Commerce has already risen exponentially in 2020. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, high streets have transformed into skeletal versions of their past selves and consumers have turned to technology for their shopping fix. Estimates reveal that the pandemic has expedited the shift away from physical stores to digital shopping by approximately five years.

Social Media Today has provided statistics on e-Commerce sales during the Coronavirus pandemic, of which here are a few:

  • The number of unique digital shoppers rose 40% year-on-year.
  • In the US, e-Commerce retail sales accounted for 16%of sales in Q2 2020.
  • In the UK, the percentage of e-Commerce retail sales rose to nearly one third of all retail sales in May 2020.
  • In the US, more money was spent online in April and May 2020 than during the last 12 Cyber Mondays combined.
  • 68% of consumers say Covid-19 elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities.

[Image Creds: Social Media Today]

What does this e-Commerce shift mean for Black Friday? It is a day known to catalyse an eruption of people and purchases in shopping centres, so it is no surprise that this year we are witnessing a similar situation online. Nationwide Building Society reported that customers had made more than 2.3million transactions as of midday today, which was up 2 per cent from last year and up 22 per cent from last week. Google searches for ‘Best Black Friday deals’ have increased by 70 per cent from last year as online sales soar.

Social media platforms, which are beginning to maximise their e-Commerce potential, have played a role in the rise of online shopping. Whatsapp now has a Shopping Button, Facebook has a Shop feature, whilst on its mini-me, Instagram, you can shop and then create Guides showcasing your favourite purchases. E-Commerce is becoming inescapable; the possibility to purchase lies in every nook and cranny of our digital world. These social media platforms launched their e-Commerce features in time for Black Friday – it will be interesting to see whether users stick to traditional methods, or click, scroll and buy on these new functions.

Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.