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Black Friday drives shoppers online

News, 07 November 2016

NEW YORK/LONDON: Black Friday may be considered by many as one of the biggest shopping events of the year, but new research involving both US and UK consumers suggests interest is waning.

Almost a third (31%) of US consumers say they have always disliked shopping on Black Friday, while 29% believe it is simply a "marketing trick" with retailers manipulating prices to convince shoppers that they're getting a good deal.

UK consumers are even more sceptical about the motives of retailers because 42% regard Black Friday to be a marketing trick. As such, around half of shoppers in both countries (51% US; 48% UK) say they have no plans to shop on Black Friday this year.

These findings are based on an online survey of 1,570 adults conducted in October by Periscope By McKinsey, the analytics platform.

Interestingly, the survey revealed that 39% of US respondents, and 42% of their UK counterparts, plan to do most or all of their Black Friday shopping online – an increase on last year, especially in the UK where 33% planned to go online in 2015.

It seems that convenience as well as the overall stress of having to deal with busy queues is motivating consumers to go online because 13% of Americans and 9% of British consumers agree that "stores are just too chaotic".

The survey also unearthed another trend of interest to retailers and marketers alike in that Black Friday may find itself increasingly in competition with Amazon Prime Days.

According to the findings, 9% of US and 7% of UK consumers regard Amazon's global shopping event to be of more interest to them than Black Friday.

"The research highlights that consumers consider the Black Friday experience stressful and inconvenient compared to shopping online," said Channie Mize, Periscope's Global General Manager for Retail.

"The physical store is not dead, but struggling," she added. "[But] retailers need to find new attractive ways to draw consumers into their stores, using data-driven insights to inform the buying, assortment and promotional activities to maximum effect across all channels, giving customers the great experience they crave."

Data sourced from Periscope By McKinsey; additional content by Warc staff