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Black Friday isn’t that great for retailers

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Black Friday isn’t yet as important to all sellers as you might expect.
This is the message being relayed by the experts from Optiseller, which used this year’s Black Friday as an opportunity to look at how some of the largest sellers on eBay UK performed on what is perceived to be one of the most important trading periods of the year for online retailers.
Using its off-the-shelf ‘Optiseller eBay Competitor Performance Dashboard’, they discovered that, contrary to popular belief, Black Friday isn’t that much of a boon to retailers.
Declan Power, Optiseller chief operating officer, explains: “We looked at a mix of top 10 and top 100 eBay sellers across different categories such as fashion, tech, and home and garden and monitored their performance. These included household names such as Tesco, Argos, Littlewoods, Currys PC World, and Superdry, as well as some perhaps less obvious but significant eBay sellers such as ‘ppretail’ (Home & Garden) and ‘kenable_ltd’ (Computers).
“What we discovered was that despite the perception that Black Friday is a boon for all online retailers, performance across the test sample was mixed at best. While 30% of sellers experienced a significant uplift (more than 10%) in sales volume over the period, and another 30% experienced a more moderate (more than 3%) sales uplift, the remaining 40% of sellers saw little or no increase in sales performance over the weekend.
“For some sellers, it doesn’t appear to make sense to actively discount and promote for Black Friday. Commodities and seasonal stock such as IT peripherals and home and garden product lines don’t appear to sell well on Black Friday.
“This may be due to lack of consumer demand, or a reluctance by sellers to discount and promote such items in the belief this is more likely to displace future sales rather than generate additional growth. For clearance channel sellers, lack of stock depth may preclude participation.
“Therefore, while Black Friday can certainly be beneficial for eBay sellers, it pays to consider whether it suits your business, and if you are going to participate. Apart from ensuring the correct offering is available, it also pays to track and manage those key performance indicators which can make a big weekend even bigger.”
The ‘eBay Competitor Performance Dashboard’ from Optiseller allows eBay sellers monitor competitor stores, providing access to a detailed view of listings effectiveness. Run multiple times it will provide trends in listing performance, looking at KPIs such as Title Length, Item Specifics, Subtitles, Shipping, and Product Coverage Comparison.