Data unveiled today has predicted that the UK’s premier electronics and tech brands are going to see online search volumes plummet around Black Friday this year when compared to 2020. Search volumes for ‘Apple’ are predicted to fall by 13.8%, searches for ‘Currys PC World’ are set to drop by 22.8% and ‘Samsung’ will see search volumes fall by 8.9%.
Searches for ‘Xbox store’ and ‘PlayStation store’ are also set to fall, by 22% and a colossal 48.6%, respectively compared to last year.
It used a combination of machine learning and data science to extrapolate likely search terms, volumes and trends for the period 1 Nov-5 Dec 2021, based on the past four months of online searches as well as Black Friday search patterns over the past three years. It found that searches for the term ‘Black Friday’ are already up by 11% compared to 2020.
By comparison to the consumer electronics sector, it forecast that searches for up-and-coming fashion brands like ‘Lavish Alice’ (search volumes predicted up by 223%) and ‘Phase Eight’ (up by 121%) will soar.
High street fashion icons Next (up 14.3%) and Zara (up 36.7%) are also predicted to see search volumes rise, although pandemic success story Boohoo (down 21.8%) is set to see less interest than in 2020.
This suggests that Manchester-born Lavish Alice is one to watch this Black Friday, with triple-digit growth predicted as demand soars for womenswear seen on the likes of Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner. Phase Eight could also enjoy a surge in demand, with the High Street brand already making headlines for its partnership with M&S.
These predictions should be seen in the context of the explosion in online activity during the pandemic. In the UK alone, 51,379 new e-commerce businesses launched between 1 April 2020 and 31st July 2021.
However, some of the most prominent players in online catalogue retail are also predicted to see a decline in Black Friday demand this year: Amazon is predicted to see search volumes fall by 19% and Argos by 23.4%. Potential reasons include a more competitive and saturated market, shopper hesitancy, complexities around product availability, the delivery driver drought and logistical issues.
There is also growing sentiment among shoppers to support local and smaller online retailers post-pandemic, with a big focus on sustainability, reduced packaging and buying from independents.
Louis Venter, CEO at MediaVision, comments: “Last year saw a massive increase in demand for home-working and leisure technology on Black Friday and it looks like 2021 will see a correction. Many of us have already bought our game consoles, smartphones and tablets and aren’t on the lookout for a new one.
“However, the data predicts that some of the UK’s up-and-coming independent fashion brands, particularly those who are ecommerce natives or have an established online presence, are set to see a real surge in interest over Black Friday this year.
“Lessening restrictions and a return to the office means we’ll be seeing more interest in clothes for outside the home, both workwear and party attire. It’s set to be an exciting time for the UK fashion industry after 18 challenging months.”