Experts predict “permanent shift” to online shopping as Black Friday approaches

Online retail sales could grow between 35 per cent and 45 per cent this Black Friday.

New research from IMRG finds that with non-essential stores closed from now until December, this year’s Black Friday will likely signal a seismic shift in the retail landscape.

Growth for online shopping so far this year is up 34.9 per compared to last year, when it grew by just 6.7 per cent.

Looking ahead to Black Friday, IMRG said online retail sales could grow by between 35 per cent and 45 per cent during from November 23 to November 30.

READ MORE: Black Friday to see “peak on top of peak” online traffic this year says Google

IMRG noted that this year, shoppers may be more responsive to Black Friday campaigns earlier in November, in order to avoid a backlog of orders too close to Christmas.

Of the 320 retail stores IMRG is monitoring to see when their campaigns go live, 4.3 per cent already launched on November 4, when only 2.3 per cent had launched by that time in 2019.

“We were anticipating a huge surge online this peak, and circumstances have conspired to ensure that is the case; the stores are closed, furlough has been extended and shoppers are being advised to get the bulk of their Christmas shopping done before December,” IMRG strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy said.

“There is a possibility that could mean people buy spend more in the early weeks of November, pulling some of the volume away from the Black Friday week – that seems the only realistic reason why the online spend for that period could come in lower than 35 per cent,” Mulcahy added.

“This year’s huge growth rates, and the expected online bonanza the Black Friday period will deliver, underline retail’s rapid structural shift online. This does not feel like a temporary development; further evidence is no longer required that this is a permanent shift,” IMRG managing director Justin Opie said.

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