Brits refuse to rein in spend on Black Friday bargains

online-shop2Contrary to popular belief – a fair few predictions – UK consumers will not be letting the ongoing cost-of-living crisis interfere with their Christmas plans, with the average spend for Black Friday 2023 expected to reach £184.55 – up from £171.66 in 2022.

With over half (54%) of consumer spend this Black Friday period predicted to be on Christmas presents, Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology’s Black Friday report reveals that the sales extravaganza is still very much synonymous with festive gift giving and the holidays.

And the trend towards online shopping has not diminished now that bricks-and-mortar stores are back to business; in fact, more than three-quarters (76%) of Black Friday spend is set to be online this year.

All of which will be music to the ears of marketplaces, spearheaded by giants like Amazon who remain the top choice for Black Friday deals, accounting for 54% of all Black Friday spend.

But all is not lost for Amazon’s competitors; among the 16 to 24 age group, specifically, Amazon’s grip on the market has become weaker, capturing only 37% market share.

Consumer trust also remains a concern for the bigger players. A mere one in ten (10%) consumers feel they are the primary beneficiaries of Black Friday, with almost a third (31%) agreeing that Amazon benefits most from the sales period.

This sentiment is further echoed by the fact that only 37% of UK consumers believe they secure the best deals during this shopping bonanza. The lingering disappointment from last year’s sales, felt by two-fifths (41%) of consumers, underscores the urgent need for retailers to recalibrate their strategies.

And consumers have more considerations at play this year: one being the impact on the planet of their purchases. Perhaps surprisingly, almost a third (30%) of consumers are re-evaluating their Black Friday shopping habits due to environmental concerns this year.

What is more, over half (58%) are open to more sustainable delivery options, such as Amazon Day Delivery.

Wunderman Thompson Commerce & Technology global head of consultancy and innovation Hugh Fletcher said: “In a year marred by economic challenges, the indomitable spirit of the UK consumer shines through. While the increase in anticipated spending might come as a surprise to some, it’s perhaps the deal-hungry consumers who have felt the economic pinch the most.

“Retailers must be prepared for a bustling Black Friday, ensuring they not only promote enticing deals but also deliver on them. The frustration of discovering an out-of-stock product after spotting an attractive deal or buying a discounted item to see a better discount weeks later is all too familiar to many.

“In today’s discerning market, transparency is paramount. Consumers, with their heightened scepticism, demand upfront pricing and genuine discounts, as well as effective customer service. For retailers that can deliver all of that, as well as the new climate-friendly asks, there’s an opportunity for a much-needed cash influx this holiday season.”

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