This year's Black Friday weekend beginning on Nov 24 saw shoppers flock to online and bricks-and-mortar shops to snag some good buys, with stores in Singapore pulling out all the stops to attract consumers.
Aside from offering various promotions, retailers like Robinsons, Sephora and Metro also extended their opening hours and it seems like their efforts have paid off, with retailers The Straits Times spoke to reporting higher Black Friday sales compared with last year's.
Online marketplace Qoo10, which started having Black Friday sales last year, recorded a sales value of $10.1 million for the Black Friday weekend between Nov 24 and 26 - surpassing last year's sales by more than 50 per cent.
During Lazada's Black Friday sale, which lasted from Nov 24 to 27, shoppers were offered discounts of up to 80 per cent off, as well as flash deals.
Lazada Singapore chief executive Alexis Lanternier said sales this year were three times greater than last year's. Lazada started its first Black Friday sale in 2015.
"As Black Friday gains popularity over the years, Singapore shoppers are increasingly turning to Lazada to make their Black Friday purchases. Every year's sales surpass the previous year's by at least three times," he said. "Despite the early hour, shoppers went on a shopping frenzy in the first hour of Black Friday, with sales 13 times that of the first hour of a regular day."
Electronic items have been a hit over the years, with smartphones selling particularly well this year.
Top-selling products included the Xiaomi Mi A1, Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime and OnePlus 5. They proved popular at bricks-and-mortar retailers as well.
A spokesman for Robinsons department store, which held its first Black Friday sale in 2014, said: "This is our biggest year thus far and we witnessed a growth in our sales this year as compared to last year."
The store, which did not provide sales figures, offered discounts of as much as 80 per cent. It said some of the most popular items were home and electrical appliances, cosmetics and bedding products.
Courts Singapore's country chief executive Ben Tan said online sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday grew almost 100 per cent from last year. And there was a sales "uplift" for its bricks-and-mortar stores as well, though the home electronics, IT and furniture retailer did not provide figures.
Meta-search website iPrice Group, which analysed Google Trends, said the e-commerce sites that had the most search interest from people in Singapore in the last half-hour of Nov 23 were Lazada, Amazon, Qoo10 and ezbuy.
While Amazon claimed the highest average search interest on Google, Lazada generated the highest search interest when the clock struck midnight on Black Friday.
University student Jean Lee, 21, spent more than $300 on clothes from Asos and La Senza, and make-up from Sephora during the shopping frenzy. She bought her items from Asos and Sephora online.
"The sales were pretty good, 30 to 50 per cent off," she said. "Shopping online means I didn't have to squeeze with the crowds."
Retail expert Sarah Lim told The Straits Times that public interest in Black Friday could have been heightened because retailers have been "drumming up" their advertising efforts on social media.
"Everyone loves a good bargain... Before Black Friday there was Singles Day," she said. "And not to forget, Christmas is coming."