Over the last few years Black Friday has grown to become the largest single online shopping day in the UK in the run up to Christmas.
As one of the biggest shopping events of the year, much is talked about Black Friday, from how much shoppers will spend to how long the event will actually run for. Some retailers are planning a sale event lasting just a few days while others use the event to start their traditional end of year Christmas sales.
According to research from Periscope by McKinsey* almost half (48%) of UK shoppers don’t plan to take part in this year’s annual retail event. However, research, carried out by YouGov on behalf of Royal Mail**, found that 78% of retailers planning to take part in the annual sales event intend to offer discounts of up to 50% on their products.
The research also found that:
• around 20% of participating retailers have extended their working hours
• 11% have increased advertising
• 10% have employed new additional staff
• 45% of retailers expect Black Friday to account for up to 50% of their Christmas period sales
• 35% of retailers expect sales this year to equal that of last year.
• 12% believe sales will be higher this year, while only 6 % think sales will be less than last year.
While Black Friday is not going to go away, consumers shopping on the high street are increasingly being put off by the crowds and subsequent queues that this annual shopping event brings with it. Many are looking to change their shopping habits. The research from Periscope by McKinsey highlighted that some 42% of UK shoppers said they would do all or most of their shopping online. To continue to be successful retailers need to think more about the customer experience they provide and embrace cross-channel selling. This may require major changes and improvements in the technology they use, the staff they employ and the processes they adopt. But in the long run it may be a decision that has to be made.
*Black Friday Shopping Report: Consumer habits are changing fast. October 2016