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Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead
This year, Black Friday falls on Friday 23rd November. However, whilst we didn’t see as many hordes of people waiting to push through the doors of their favoured store as we had done with borderline hysterical scenes from previous years, Black Friday was still a huge retail event in 2017, with an estimated £1.39bn spend in the UK alone. So, is 2018 set to match this?
In order to take the pulse of consumer response towards Black Friday, 200 participants took part in our Black Friday survey, conducted by digital survey professionals, Toluna.
Remarkably, the responses reflected a positive outlook for the high street; this year’s survey showed the first drop in people planning to shop online. Although 73% of consumers plan to buy online, 27% of consumers plan to hit the high street to grab their bargains. Although this might only be a 6% rise in comparison to 21% last year, the previous three years have shown a steady decline YoY, perhaps heralding the theory that consumers aren’t prepared to ditch the high street just yet.
Interestingly, whilst some shoppers might succumb to FOMAD (Fear of Missing a Deal), our survey advocated otherwise. 75% of consumers said that they don’t get carried away over Black Friday, with 79% claiming that they’ve never returned a Black Friday purchase. This suggests that customers are clued-up on their buys, supporting the research revolution, where consumers are using webrooming (looking online but buying in-store) and showrooming (looking in-store but buying online) to their advantage, empowering consumers to make the right choice for them.
However, for the slim percentage that had returned Black Friday purchases, 24% said it was because they regretted an impulse buy, with 35% of respondents saying that their return was due to sizing problems. A further 28% returned the item due to finding it cheaper elsewhere, highlighting the need for retailers to be price savvy – or customers will take their business elsewhere. However, 13% explained that they returned the item due to ‘insufficient funds’ perhaps highlighting that, for some, the opportunity for a good deal is too good to miss!
This year, our survey found a small drop in people planning to participate in Black Friday, suggesting that just 48% of people plan on taking part. Whilst previous years had seen higher numbers, with 2015 and 2016 suggesting that 59% of those surveyed were going to participate, last year was only 1% higher. This could suggest that whilst there might have been an initial hype surrounding Black Friday and the deals that were offered in relation to it, consumer interest has waned, but is showing signs of stability.
Whilst a figure of 48% might seem low, this figure doesn’t factor those impulse buyers who might be swayed by attractive deals and price reductions.
With the possibility of mounting queues over a short period, till downtime and slow transaction are every store assistant’s nightmare. However, these are avoidable issues; with the right support in place, our IT Help Desk is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our skilled analysts have retail and hospitality experience and can empathise with the critical effect of system downtime at peak periods.
Make sure to check back for our Black Friday analysis blog, for a full breakdown of this year’s event.
If you’d like to use our survey results, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a free high res download of our infographic, also email email@example.com
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