What is Black Friday?

Written by:   Gareth Goodridge, Digital Marketing Director, Worldpay,  24 Nov 2016

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving - falling anywhere from 23rd to 29th November.  The term ‘Black Friday’ was coined in the 1960s and marked the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season in the United States.  It’s called ‘Black’ because, traditionally, it was the day retailers moved from the ‘red’ (making a loss) into the ‘black’ (making a profit).

It’s grown in popularity over the years – becoming the world’s second largest shopping event (only being surpassed by China Singles’ Day). It expanded outsite of the United States in the early 2000s. Today countries such as the UK, Brazil, Russia and Sweden get involved.  And even in countries where it’s not a national event, such as France, retailers are starting to offer Black Friday deals – and are reaping the rewards. 

Last year, our transactional data saw huge growth during the day – with a 10% increase in transaction volume and 14% increase in transaction value over 2014.  We also saw a massive 55% increase in retail transactions compared with that of an average day. 

And – it’s not just retailers getting involved.  Last year, our data showed that the travel industry saw a 21% rise in transactions from the same date in 2014.  

With such a big buzz around this year’s event – here are five interesting Black Friday stories we’ve come across in the last few weeks.  

‘Avoid the Crush’

Google have launched a new feature, which allows consumers to see how busy shops and popular destinations are – in real time.  Information will be sent from Google app users, who share their location data with the company.  Some experts are worried the new feature will deter shoppers from visiting popular stores.  Source:

‘No comment’

According to research, many US shoppers will be taking advantage of Black Friday deals whilst sitting at the Thanksgiving table.  But they’re not just looking for that amazing deal – 20% Millennials will shop digitally to avoid awkward or unwanted conversations.  Source:

‘Viva Espana’

Spanish e-tailers are jumping on the Black Friday train – with over 80% planning on offering deals to their customers.  This is an increase of 17% over 2015 – with sales expected to reach €1.267 billion. Source:

‘No more early birds’

Whilst Black Friday is generally associated with early birds (we’ve all seen those pictures of queues and stampedes when a store opens), people are now shopping all day long.  Mobile is driving this trend as people search for deals online – and mobile actually peaks in the evening. Source:

‘It’s a waiting game’ 

Although Black Friday is huge – recent research by Deloitte showed that 40% of American’s are planning on doing the bulk of their Holiday shopping in December – compared with only 9% on Black Friday & 6% on Cyber Monday. Source:

So, Friday is set to be a big day for many retailers.  To maximise on sales, it’s key to offer the right payment methods to shoppers.  Find out more with our ‘Why Do They Pay That Way?’ microsite. Source:

Written by:   Gareth Goodridge, Digital Marketing Director, Worldpay,  24 Nov 2016