I suspect that when Andy Williams sung “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, he was not referring to Black Friday.

Black Friday is anything but wonderful – the desperate bids for attention from retailers, the relentless email spam, the hoards of angry shoppers, the list goes on… – but there is no escaping the fact it’s the biggest shopping day of the year, and a massive opportunity for retailers to cash in before the inevitable post Christmas lull.

Like it or not, it looks like Black Friday is here to stay, so for retailers it’s a case of keep up or miss out. For consumers, well, no one is actually forcing you to buy that Playstation 4 are they now (guilty as charged).

Here a some interesting Black Friday facts I’ve garnered from across the tinterweb this week.

1. Black Friday was massive

According to IMRG and Experian, UK shoppers spent a whopping £1.1bn on Black Friday, which is not only more than expected, but up 35 percent on 2014.

Sales across the whole weekend totalled more than £3bn, with Cyber Monday accounting for £968m in sales, also higher than experts predicted.

Sales figures graphic for black friday 2015

Sales figures graphic via City A.M.

2. Amazon dominates in UK

No real shocker to hear that Amazon shifted a lot of stock on Black Friday, but the numbers are staggering nonetheless.

In what was reported as its busiest day ever, Amazon UK took 7.4m orders – a 40 percent increase on last year’s 5.5m – shifting around 86 items per second. That’s a lot of unnecessarily large boxes.

Amazon is said to be expecting its “biggest Christmas on record”, and if Black Friday is anything to go by then they’re certainly on the right track.

3. Apple Pay is lonely this Christmas

Research by US company InfoScout suggests a downward trend in people using Apple’s much hyped mobile wallet offering to make their Black Friday purchases.

Based on data provided by 300,000 Americans, Apple Pay was used for only 2.7 percent of eligible transactions, down from 5 percent last year.

The numbers were lower still amongst Android users, with mobile wallet usage accounting for just 2 percent of eligible transactions.

Black Friday 2015 payment methods graphic

Black Friday payment methods via http://blog.infoscout.co

Black Friday may be gone for another year (phew), but there are still plenty of days between now and Christmas so no time to rest. If you need some help preparing your website for the Christmas rush, check out these handy tips.