Revealed: British consumers’ shopping intentions for Black Friday 2018

November 23, 2018

Black Friday is nearly upon us. The shopping extravaganza has evolved into a staple ‘event’ in the UK retail calendar. So much so, that commerce company Salmon estimates a colossal £4.75 billion (£2.23 billion online and £2.52 billion in-store) will be spent during Black Friday this year.

  • A typical Brit can anticipate making a substantial average saving of £489 on Black Friday
  • Biggest motivation pushing British consumers to shop on Black Friday is because they believe it is the best time in the year to get expensive products at a discounted price (72%)
  • ‘Appliances/electronics’ (78%) will generate the greatest demand from shoppers on Black Friday
  • Black Friday promotions on ‘food/beverages’ (17%) are expected to appeal the least to UK consumers
  • Sales are predicted to be 1500% higher on Black Friday in comparison to a regular Friday

With 92% of Brits now aware of Black Friday according to research by management consulting firm McKinsey, online marketplace surveyed 1,562 UK consumers who will be actively seeking the best deals on Black Friday, to better understand their shopping intentions for 23rd November 2018.

Before getting into the main findings, analysed data from Black Friday Global to find that £300 is the amount a typical Brit will fork out on Black Friday. From all the offers and discounts available, a UK consumer can anticipate making an average saving of £489. Additionally, with retailers undoubtedly prepared for a huge surge in demand – sales are astonishingly predicted to be 1500% higher on Black Friday in comparison to a regular Friday.

From OnBuy’s survey, it was found that the biggest motivation for British consumers to shop on Black Friday is because they believe it is the best time/opportunity in the year to get expensive products at a marked down price (72%). Thereafter, 66%plan to search for deals on Black Friday for the sole purpose of sorting out Christmas presentsfor their loved ones. Similarly, 54%will use Black Friday as an opportunity to buy giftsfor social occasionssuch as birthdaysand weddings.

Opposingly, only 15% of Brits believe Black Friday will provide them with the valuable moments to spend quality time with family/friends. Just above, 27% are influenced to hunt for bargains on 23rd November, as a direct consequence of purchasing items on each Black Friday that has occurred since its 2013 inception in the UK.

Furthermore, OnBuy sought to discover the product categories which are set to experience the greatest demand on Black Friday.

‘Appliances/electronics’ (78%) will generate the most interest from shoppers on Black Friday. Perhaps unsurprising, given how popular discounted TV’s, coffee machines, gaming consoles, tablets and voice assistant devices have been on past Black Friday sales. Slightly below, 72% are on the lookout for some excellent offers on ‘clothes/shoes’ to refresh their wardrobe.

Interestingly, 49% of consumers are in the market for ‘gift cards/vouchers’ which are on sale for less than their face value (e.g. a £25 gift card/voucher for £20).

On the other end, Black Friday promotions on ‘food/beverages’ (17%) are expected to appeal the least to shoppers. Likewise, a mere 28% have ‘sporting goods’ on their Black Friday shopping list.

Black Friday conjures up countless bargains. Even though individuals may not need certain products, the reduced prices could prove to be very tempting. Whilst these impulse buys may seem reasonable at the time, they could turn regrettable later. In such scenarios, OnBuy wanted to investigate what consumers are most likely to do with any unwanted Black Friday purchases.

Majority of Brits will opt to get a refund (67%) for any Black Friday purchases they no longer want to keep. Contrastingly, 60% would give them as Christmas presents to family and/or friends. Strangely enough, more UK consumers would keep unwanted Black Friday purchases (42%) then make the effort to exchange them (35%) for items which will be of more use in their life.

Cas Paton, Managing Director of commented:

“Black Friday has become a massive opportunity for UK retailers to drive sales and revenue in the important run-up to Christmas. Consequently, retailers have allocated significant resources to make it a shopping spectacle which successfully captures the attention and wallets of consumers. This year is certainly going to be no different and this research provides a comprehensive insight into how Brits intend to splash their cash on the big day itself – with some products notably set to be more desirable than others.”

OnBuy’s top five Black Friday tips for British shoppers:

Stay connected

Stay ahead of the curve by signing up to your favourite retailers’ newsletters and follow them on all the social media platforms they have a presence on. Retailers will more than likely make customers aware of their Black Friday deals in advance, primarily through such mediums. So be the first to know.

Have a realistic budget

With so many deals available on Black Friday, it can be very tempting to splurge out on things you don’t really need. Therefore, have a limit on your spending by creating a clear and realistic budget.

Sign-up early as possible

Considering how much of a phenomena Black Friday is now, retailers will have an enormous surge in online traffic on the day. In turn, their websites may become painfully slow and experience unusual glitches. To overcome these issues, sign up for an online account with the retailers you are interested in shopping with a few days before Black Friday and login early on the morning of 23rd November.

Don’t underestimate research

If you are already aware of the items you want on Black Friday, then research them to assess their true market value. There are a range of comparison websites/tools which allow users to view the historical price of an item over a defined period (e.g. week, month, year etc.). By doing so, you will be able to see if the discount offered by a given retailer on a desired item is truly worth it or not.

Remember retailers’ loyalty programmes

In the whirlwind of Black Friday pandemonium, don’t forget to use loyalty programmes. Earn those all-important points, rewards and coupons with your beloved retailers on Black Friday purchases. 

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