Will an increase in online Black Friday shoppers come at the expense of brand loyalty?
The pre-Christmas sales are arguably the highlight of the retail year – delivering huge rewards for the retailers who get their strategy right and really tap into what shoppers want.
Last year’s Black Friday sales generated over £1.3 billion in UK online sales on one day* and with a forecast of £1.54 billion for Black Friday attributed sales this year, we gathered responses from over 10,000 customers via our special Black Friday and Christmas shopping survey and uncovered some interesting results.
Online is the preferred Black Friday shopping channel
Unsurprisingly, online shopping is the main purchasing channel over the Black Friday period. A huge two thirds of shoppers said they would purchase half or more of their Christmas presents online this year, while 10 per cent will purchase everything online.
More than half of shoppers surveyed said they prefer shopping online at this time of year as it is more convenient than shopping in stores, therefore offering great opportunities for retailers to increase their online revenue in the lead up to Christmas. Nearly half of respondents like the ease of comparing retailer prices online, with 41 per cent agreeing with this statement thus making them more likely to purchase.
50 per cent of customers plan on spending a similar amount on Christmas this year as they did in 2017, while one in five, primarily women, are actually planning to spend less. However, 13 per cent of customers, mainly men and millennials, do plan to go all out and blow the budget this year offering retailers the potential to target different audiences with their discounting.
Retailer loyalty loses out
With shoppers already telling us they like to compare retailer prices online, brand loyalty takes a back seat over the festive period. Over half of shoppers told us that they would switch to a retailer they’ve never shopped with before, if they had a great offer on a product they specifically wanted.
This means that retailers looking to increase their market share over the festive period may have an opening through offering Black Friday deals.
However, there are still opportunities to keep hold of those loyal customers as a core 14 per cent said they would stay loyal and wouldn’t be influenced by Black Friday offers from different retailers.
People are warming to Black Friday
Our survey shows that shoppers are definitely warming to Black Friday. Only four percent of people we surveyed said they thought shopping on Black Friday was a hassle – down from 15 per cent last year
The more time to save, the more shoppers will spend
A key finding from our survey was that shoppers love having additional time to snap up a bargain. A huge 45 per cent of online shoppers we spoke to said that when retailers spread Black Friday discounts across a full week they were likely to spend more.
Women were particularly likely to spend more if discounts were spread out over a longer time period. This figure almost doubled when we asked younger shoppers, a huge 90 per cent of 18 –24 year olds said they would be more likely to pick up a deal if sales lasted over the week.
What does the future hold for Black Friday?
Black Friday discounting looks like it is here to stay as shoppers become more aware and expect deals spread out across the Black Friday period. Whether offers are available for one day or one month, more and more people are willing to spend. However, retailers must acknowledge that usually loyal customers may use this period to try competitor sites so choosing to ignore a Black Friday discounting period my come at a cost.
Click here to discuss more around Black Friday and how Yodel can help your business with those busier peak periods, no matter what time of the year.