How did consumers shop online this Christmas?


Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for retailers, but the question is when and how do consumers shop online?

Our data reveals that over the last three years, consumers have begun to shift their Christmas buying habits to the month of November, shown in the graph below.


Overall, the Christmas period was successful in retail terms. Looking at the period from Black Friday through to the end of the calendar year, our data indicates an 11% increase against the same period last year across all our advertisers and a 13% increase across retail alone.

Traffic was also up 16% across the whole of the network whilst retail saw a 12% increase

So why the change?

Americana hits the UK

Boxing Day was traditionally the day when retailers rubbed their hands with glee, with customers lining up round the corner looking for bargains, but now it appears consumers are embarking more and more on a pre-Christmas splurge. The American post-thanksgiving tradition Black Friday, really hit the UK for the first time this year, bringing with it pandemonium to high streets. Whilst there was no smashing of store windows and scraps with other shoppers, Black Friday was having just as big an impact online, especially across affilinet’s online retail advertisers. We saw 144% more sales on Black Friday than on Boxing Day. Cyber Monday, the alleged online cousin of Black Friday drove 60% more sales than its Post-Christmas Rival across affilinet online retail advertisers.

That’s not to say that the numbers on Boxing Day were disappointing. There was a 36% increase in Online Retail sales compared with Boxing Day 2013, however in comparison with Black Friday that number seems small. Online retail saw an increase of 220% vs 2013 on Black Friday.

Purchasing Habits

It has allegedly been the year of mobile now since 2010 (or possibly even before then) and whilst those in the know have become more sceptical of this with each passing year, there is no doubt that in the UK at least, tablets and mobile devices are having an impact on sales numbers. The split between devices can be seen below:

Black Friday Cyber Monday Boxing Day
Desktop 66% 60% 56%
Tablet 22% 25% 30%
Device 11% 15% 14%


Another interesting point comes from the sales that were driven by Mobile devices. In the UK as you would expect, 63% of sales from Mobile Devices came from Apple on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It’s in the tablet world where Apple dominates across all affilinet European territories. On average 82.5% of sales across all territories came from various incarnations of the IPad, across each of the three days. The UK saw that number at a high of 90% on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

So whilst it has become clear that Black Friday is now the number one sales event in the retail calendar, at least certainly in the UK, advertisers may want to take into account how they push their offers across various devices going forward.


Richard Greenwell

Rich is responsible for overseeing the publisher team and the integration of large publishers on the UK platform. He ensures that we provide a diverse range of publishers for our advertisers and in addition our publishers are connected with the correct Advertisers. He also works closely with the international teams to bring greater data insight across all markets.

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