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Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing
As we enter the highly anticipated and busiest shopping season of 2023, it’s time to take a closer look at the key statistics and trends that will shape the shopping landscape this Peak Trade season. The traditional powerhouse of Black Friday is facing a new contender – Super Saturday. This week, we explore the statistics from Peak Trade 2023 and discover why Super Saturday is stealing the spotlight.
The decline of Black Friday: In recent years, Black Friday’s popularity has dropped as concerns about its ethics, sustainability, and impact on fragile supply chains have grown among brands and shoppers. To address these concerns and minimise the effects of frenzied shopping behaviours, many retailers have transitioned to offering a full month of discounts. Some brands chose to boycott the entire discount season, and even Amazon moved its Prime Day sale to October.
This year, only 27% of UK consumers plan to shop in physical stores on Black Friday, and just 18% intend to search for online deals. This shift in behaviour reflects a trend of shoppers pre-planning their purchases during the sales and avoiding impulse buys in order to be more budget conscious.
Super Saturday takes the crown: As the influence of Black Friday declines, Super Saturday emerges as the busiest day for in-store shopping during the 2023 Peak Trade season. Last year, UK consumers collectively spent a staggering £1.63 billion on this day alone. With last year’s Royal Mail strikes and a hangover of supply chain issues from the pandemic, the appeal of avoiding online delivery delays and securing last-minute gifts solidifies Super Saturday’s position for busiest shopping day of the year.
Here are the predicted top five busiest in-store shopping days for 2023, with Black Friday noticeably absent:
The early-bird shoppers: Despite the decrease in Black Friday’s appeal, consumers are still keen to find the best deal, leading to a growing trend of starting Christmas shopping earlier. By spreading the cost of Christmas over several months, shoppers aim to alleviate financial strain and secure the most sought-after items in time for the big day. According to a survey by Retail Economics, 54% of shoppers plan to start before Black Friday, with 25% of retailers launching promotions ahead of Q4. It was found that UK shoppers are most likely to be ‘early bird’ shoppers, with 40% starting their Christmas shopping pre-October.
Generational approaches to budgeting: Considering ongoing high costs and tight household budgets, it’s interesting to observe how different generations approach saving during the holiday season. Typically, 44% of digital natives (those under 45) take advantage of promotional periods like Cyber Week and ‘Black November’ for deals. On the other hand, older shoppers tend to stick to a traditional approach, setting spending limits and choosing value brands.
Omnichannel strategies drive convenience: As online shopping continues to be the preferred choice for many, retailers must prioritise omnichannel strategies like buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), buy online, pick up at curb side (BOPAC), and buy online, return in-store (BORIS). By offering these options, retailers not only provide convenience for shoppers but also overcome logistical challenges. Similar to last year, many brands are offering these convenient services free of charge to entice shoppers to come into their physical stores.
Harnessing the potential of immersive retail experiences: Claimed to be the most disloyal time of year, customers will shop around to seek out deals and savings.
In order to foster brand loyalty and attract new customers, many retailers are creating immersive and captivating retail experiences within their stores. Surprisingly, a remarkable 81% of shoppers have expressed their willingness to spend more at stores that offer these enriching experiences.
By utilising demographic data, foot traffic insights, and purchase behaviour, brands are making well-informed decisions about store locations, taking calculated risks, and drawing in new and enthusiastic shoppers.
The reign of Super Saturday, coupled with a decline in Black Friday’s appeal, signals a shift in shopping preferences for Peak Trade 2023. It’s crucial for brands to understand these changes and adopt consumer-centric strategies. By creating immersive retail experiences, brands can tap into the desire of shoppers to engage with their products in a meaningful way.
Want to make the most of the opportunities that this year’s peak trade season presents? Download our free peak trade checklist here.
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