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02 November 2021
Black Friday 2021: earlier, more online, less certain
Shopper research & insightChristmas & festivalsE-commerce & mobile retail
Online shopping continues to cement its place in the all-important UK and US holiday season as supply chain disruptions drive earlier shopping, and fears over COVID variants and supply disruption bring uncertainty. This is according to new research by GWI commissioned by Blue Yonder, an omnichannel fulfilment firm.
Based on interviews with 13,394 consumers aged 16-64 surveyed in the UK and the U.S. since Q2 2021, the research drills down into some of the uncertainties – and surprising optimism – of British and American consumers heading into the holiday season.
Just under a third of US and UK Black Friday shoppers plan to spend more this year.
29% of gift givers in the UK say they will plan for winter holiday buying at least a month in advance (this figure is based on July research however). Stock visibility will be critical.
A majority of UK Black Friday shoppers plan to shop on online retail sites (70%) followed by brand sites (37%) and in-store shopping at department stores (27%).
The store remains a dominant force, especially for older consumers. In the UK, 55% of baby boomers say they prefer to shop in-store vs online. (GWI Core Q2 2021 research).
Close to half (48%) of Black Friday shoppers are moderately or extremely concerned about unseen COVID-19 variants.
Experience gifts grow in a mix of supply chain doubts and cautious reopening. Just 36% of UK consumers are on the hunt for tech gifts, compared to those looking for clothing and accessories (55%), entertainment (43%), jewellery (40%), or an experience – such as a spa trip or day out (34%).
The research, says Katie Gilsenan, trends manager at GWI, “shows just how eager people are to spend and make purchases over the Christmas period. Fuelled by concerns around stock shortages, more people are getting organised earlier in a bid to ensure they have the Christmas they hope for. This all means retailers have to work that bit harder to keep up with increased demand for certain products and ensure they don’t lose out”.