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Winning in the Golden Quarter: Black Friday Winners

We’re looking at Skyrise data insights from the festive season 2021, with analysis of how popular retail sectors performed online, and we reveal how retailers can win in the battle for market share in the golden quarter

Black Friday Winners and Losers in 2021

Despite the pandemic continuing to define Q4 2021, we saw retail sales grow after lockdowns and restrictions. Though some fared better than others (with Amazon and Tesco dominating as expected), for most online retailers Black Friday proves to be the peak period in the quarter. Our insight shows a 12% week on week increase in traffic, making it the peak week for traffic for retail overall in Q4.

Consumers continue to trade up at Christmas

Skyrise data shows that unsurprisingly, online was one of the winners again in 2021. Tesco.com dominated the grocery category with premium brands showing the largest uplift for Ocado and Waitrose during Christmas week. Discounters lost the largest share of wallet, with Lidl the biggest loser in our study.   

The battle to trade up is most competitive in large cities. Ocado’s market share grew most in Manchester, Birmingham and London. Retailers looking to retain or grow, would be well advised to explore those key geo’s this year.  

Is Black Friday the peak?

Black Friday remains divisive for marketers. While certain sectors and discounters undoubtedly thrive, others feel it devalues the whole quarter. What is clear from the data is that when we analyse web traffic and exclude the grocery sector, Black Friday matters. 

With margins typically tight around Black Friday, marketers need to understand how they can use smart data to sweat every single pound of media budget to drive maximum awareness.

Retailers see huge uplift

Looking at data for the Black Friday Week we can see the winners with regards to uplift compared to the previous period. Traditional high-street brands performed well, with Urban Outfitters seeing a 38% increase, while digital first retailers thrive as you’d expected, with PrettyLittleThing seeing a 30% increase. We can also see an increase towards luxury retailers, with Farfetch experiencing a huge 40% rise. 

Luxury shoppers leave it late

The reinvigoration of fashion across mid market and luxury retailers was clear to see. Consumers had more reasons to shop in 2021 because of lockdown savings and pent-up demand. The return of (domestic and international) holidays may also have  been a benefit for areas such as fashion and beauty.  

The Toy Story

In the toy sector, high end retailer Hamleys was the surprise winner, with a 31% growth leaving market leader Smyths in its wake. 

Getting retail ready for 2022

With the cost of living crisis dominating the retail landscape, the golden quarter in 2022 will be unlike any other. Even with the anticipated squeeze on consumer finances, UK retailers will be looking to win the battle for share of wallet in this low growth environment. 

Regardless of online or offline advertisers need to understand their audience. Targeting in such unknown economic times requires a shift in thinking. The retailers that prosper will be those who are best able to embrace new plans for customer acquisitions and retention, particularly in emerging media channels.  

We’re expecting to see a focus from retailers on driving online share while ensuring a rightsized store footfall. Share stealing will remain rife as online expansion slows and competitors intersect. 

Is your retail business planning for Q4? Are you using smarter data to inform your media plan? Get in touch using the form below and find out more about your audience, your sector, and your future.

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