More than one fifth (22%) of U.S. consumers are planning to spend at least $500 on Black Friday, and 16% expect to lay out $1,000 or more. These shoppers will be in search of steep discounts and deals: 54% of consumers in four countries identify this as their number-one reason for Black Friday shopping, followed by the opportunity to encounter unique “one off” promotions.
Black Friday’s spot as a top holiday shopping day has become a global phenomenon, with more than 70% of consumers in four countries aware of the day and planning to take part, according to research from Periscope By McKinsey. The Black Friday 2018 Shopping Report: Consumers Are Eager, More Digital, And Willing To Spend, which surveyed consumers in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Germany, reveals how participation in Black Friday shopping has increased in recent years:
• 54% of UK consumers participated in Black Friday in 2017, up from just 19% in 2015;
• In Germany, Black Friday participation increased to 43% in 2017 from 9% in 2015; and
• In Canada, participation increased to 48.5% from 26%, and 81% of Canadian consumers said they plan to shop or browse on Black Friday 2018.
For all the surveyed regions, 77% of consumers said they plan to shop or browse, and to make a purchase if the price is right. And while the majority of consumers in all four countries said their budgets were basically unchanged from 2017, 18% of consumers in the U.S. and Germany plan to spend more this year than last year.
“Black Friday has become an established feature of the retail calendar on both sides of the Atlantic — one that has dramatically changed the way people shop in the run-up to Christmas,” said Brian Elliott, Founder, Senior Advisor And Head of Innovation at Periscope By McKinsey in a statement. “In return, consumers have changed the core DNA of the event from a traditional, in-store base to a global and digital one. This year, consumers are clearly eager, ready and willing to participate and shop this Black Friday via multiple channels.”
Retailers Must Appeal To Deal-Seeking Shoppers
A key opportunity for retailers is the large number of consumers who do very little pre-planning about where they will shop, or what they will buy, on Black Friday: 44% of U.S. shoppers have done no pre-planning, as well as 48% of UK consumers and 49% of Canadians. These shoppers are looking for hot deals and exciting products, so retailers that make tempting offers with strong incentives can capture these customers’ attention.
“Retailers and brands looking to extract maximum value from this ‘golden’ opportunity should ensure they start early to stimulate the wants and needs of their customers,” said Elliott. “They need to activate their data with advanced analytics systems for targeted and personal campaigns the closer the event comes to attract high numbers of shoppers — and secure big basket orders.”
Black Friday Shopping Is An Omnichannel Event
Despite the recent growth of digital commerce, particularly via mobile devices, a significant portion of consumers plan to shop both in stores and online on Black Friday:
• U.S.: 48%
• Canada: 39%
• UK: 30%
• Germany: 32%
The continued appeal of brick-and-mortar stores is good news for omnichannel retailers, since Amazon is, by a wide margin, the initial destination for most online shoppers in all four countries:
• U.S.: 81%
• Canada: 77%
• UK: 83%
• Germany: 87%
The number two and three destinations were:
• U.S.: Walmart (61%) and Target (33%)
• Canada: Walmart (41%) and Best Buy (39%)
• UK: eBay (42%) and Tesco (22%)
• Germany: eBay (46%) and Mediamarkt (37%)
“Today’s sophisticated shoppers are leveraging every channel available to explore their Black Friday options — whether that’s researching deals, seeking out inspirations for gifts or experiencing the excitement of the shopping event for real — with digital channels becoming increasingly dominant,” said Elliott. “This makes it vitally important that retailers and brands ensure they catch their target audiences in the right channels — and provide a seamless experience as shoppers move from one channel to another to complete their purchasing journeys.”
The survey research was conducted online in September 2018, targeting consumers aged 18 to 69 and equally weighted between male and female respondents in all four countries.