Black Friday

Online VS. Retail – What is the all important future of Black Friday and retail shopping through LOCKDOWN 2.0?

As Black Friday looms, for many businesses large and small this is their peak trading time. For some, this is even their best time of year OVER Boxing Day sales. But how has Black Friday shopping progressed over the last few years? 

The huge sales day takes place on the last Friday of November, usually the day after Thanksgiving Day which is why it originated in the U.S. – regarded as the beginning of the Christmas Shopping season. Interestingly, Amazon – an online based company – brought it to the UK back in 2010 but it’s only been recent few years that is has really taken off and pretty much every company out there has jumped on the bandwagon. The day is notoriously known in many countries for being one of the most disruptive, sometimes even abusive days due to masses of customers fighting over a last product on the shelf, from toys to TV, as it’s commonly known that large tech appliance stores such as Currys PC World take part with great discounts.

But is Black Friday itself really as important as it used to be?

Person Shopping on Laptop

As retailers are battling their competitors’ prices, companies are starting their sales even earlier than the Friday, sometimes even starting on the Monday instore and online. So, over time, it has turned this whole week into a relevant time period for retailers to make the most of the high number of sales.


A Forbes study last year: 

“Black Friday, traditionally known for driving in-store traffic, for the first time beat Cyber Monday in the number of e-commerce shoppers by 10 million, totaling 93.2 million in the U.S. That online fervor beat even Black Friday’s own in-store traffic of 84.2 million shoppers”*


The study shows more and more people are heading towards online shopping on Black Friday every year, and not just waiting for Cyber Monday to grab the deals. Cyber Monday traditionally is known for exactly what it says – online shopping. But seems the whole week may as well be called ‘cyber deals week’… 

Now more than ever has the world shifted towards online presence due to pandemic, shutting most retailers for most of the year 2020 so far. 

It looks like we won’t be standing in long lines outside shops and department stores this year, as two thirds (66%) of Black Friday shoppers said they plan to do it all online. This is an increase from 2019, where 56% only shopped online on Black Friday.**

Fewer Brits are planning to take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020 compared to 2019. Last year, 42% of adults planned to do so, whereas this year the number has gone down to 39%.

Chart of Stats for Black Friday
Image from
Black Friday

Even though the pandemic has changed so many of our living circumstances, the predicted amounts spend are still high, in fact higher than last year. Maybe it’s due to the lack of spending this whole year? Or some retail therapy to compensate for the lows of the year? But there’s one thing for certain; all of us will be shopping online in the UK due to the closure of all ‘non-essential’ stores.

But in reality, the online customers are rising yearly – due to the ease and efficiency of purchasing online, the non-existent crowds and fighting, the time effectiveness and more. Yet, we see that a lot of us still prefer to shop in store; reasons such as ability to see, touch and feel the product in person and it’s assess quality, and to try items on for size without having to order multiple sizes and return online, and some simply to be loyal to the business. 


So, what lies ahead? As the inevitable shift in online shoppers increases and people become more digitally inclined, retailers and other businesses will be forced to adapt to continue to trade into their future. Companies are delving into augmented reality as emerging technology becomes more accessible; the use of 360 degrees and 3D images, and product videos has been a growing feature on many online stores, but looks soon to be upgraded to a ‘try on before you buy’ concept as this is one of the key reasons why people still shop in store. 

Facebook already have ‘try on’ AR features in it’s ads which came out in 2018. And there is a move towards ‘visual’ search to replace the traditional text type search bar – an easier way to search for similar products across the marketplace using an image / photo rather than having to try to describe what you need in words –

A picture paints a thousand words. 

Our WHY CHANGE? Page highlights key events and reasons why retailers need to revolutionise their processes – Toys’r’us being a key case study along with Primark now throughout 2020 losing £2billion+ so far due to no e-commerce platform. In comparison, new brands that choose to use an ‘online first’ methodology and sell predominately online with little to no stores whatsoever, such as fast fashion brands, are thriving and continuing to be on the increase.  

If you need any support whether you are a large or small business, with an e-commerce site and more, we can help! Email us at [email protected] or contact for advice and we can suggest what will work best for you!

Let us know what you think by following us on our socials (scan barcode below or use the link) – we will be posting LOTS more content over BLACK FRIDAY WEEK So join in the conversation!  

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about Hana:

When Hana founded HanaTech her vision was clear: to support local businesses to improve their efficiency and competitiveness through increasing their use of technology. She is passionate about making technology simple, accessible and enabling, to offer a baseline from which to truly innovate, and supporting Traditional Factories to become Factories of the Future, one quick win at a time.

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At HanaTech we specialise in Digital Process Improvement in the West Midlands and beyond. We support local business within UK Manufacturing to become more successful at competing and surviving in a Digital World, transforming Traditional Factories towards Factories of the Future, One Quick Win at a Time…

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