Black Friday set to be the busiest yet

November 13, 2014

Man holding tablet pc and credit card indoor, Shopping online

  • Almost three quarters of UK consumers have heard of Black Friday, with nearly one quarter participating in the one day sales extravaganza
  • The majority of UK consumers will make online Christmas purchases on, or around, Cyber Monday
  • One third (34%) of shoppers feel that retailer promotions do influence their Christmas purchase decisions

This year’s Black Friday could be the busiest and most successful to date after insight from Voice of the Customer specialists eDigitalResearch and Global Consumer Knowledge Centre IORMA revealed that a staggering 72% of consumers have heard of the shopping term Black Friday.

Black Friday – a retail venture started in the US – was first bought to the UK in 2010 by online giant Amazon. Falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving, it’s an opportunity for retailers to entice shoppers online or in-store and kick start the Christmas shopping season.

Black Friday has gained significant traction in the UK over the past couple of years, with high street names such as John Lewis and Shop Direct participating in the event last year. The results from eDigitalResearch and IORMA reveal that this isn’t just a scheme undertaken by retailers – it has real prominence with consumers too. Almost one quarter (22%) of the 1,000 UK consumers asked had bought something on Black Friday in the past. With knowledge of the day ever increasing amongst UK consumers, the 2014 event could become the busiest and most successful Black Friday yet, with a whole host of additional retailers also looking to invest in the discount day.

When asked if retailer promotions ever influence their online Christmas purchases, over a third (35%) said that they’ve been encouraged to buy particular items due to offers and deals in the past.

Chris Russell, Joint CEO at eDigitalResearch and IORMA Board Advisor, comments, “Up until a few years ago, very few of us had even heard of the term Black Friday. Now, almost three quarters of UK consumers know what the term is – although there is still understandably confusion for some – with many actively anticipating the day to arrive. The challenge for retailers will be capitalise on the opportunity as more and more shoppers look to grab a bargain. The entire retail experience and customer journey – from marketing to logistics – needs to be exceptional, especially as more of the market look to cash in on Black Friday”.

In comparison, just under half (45%) of those surveyed had heard of the term Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday – which falls on the 1st December this year – is the day that retailers traditionally see a spike in online orders. Around 1 in 3 (30%) of consumers expect to make the majority of their Christmas purchases this year on, or around, Cyber Monday, marking the need for retailers to brace themselves for an onslaught of site visitors and online orders.

John Andrews, Chairman and CEO of IORMA commented, that, “The views expressed by UK Consumers in this research clearly illustrate that what was once a traditional event originating in one country can very quickly now migrate in the global online borderless world, to markets in other countries.  In this instance what was originally a US Thanksgiving holiday related shopping event has now become recognised in the UK too, and appreciated by UK Consumers and UK Retailers alike.

Other similar occasions such as China’s online retail giant Alibaba Singles’ Day look set to further this trend, with Alibaba stating that it has achieved $9.3bn (£5.9bn) in sales from its annual Singles’ Day shopping event for Chinese consumers alone.  It generated 278 million orders – 43% of which were placed on mobile devices.  It is the world’s biggest online retail sales day.”