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Black Friday is now firmly mainstream, while Christmas shopping starts in earnest in mid-November: studies

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Black Friday is now firmly mainstream, with only 2% of respondents to a Doddle survey unaware of the shopping event. The study estimates that five million UK shoppers plan to stay up to do their online Christmas shopping from the moment the sales start on November 23. 

As a result, Doddle is expecting that in the wake of Black Friday it will handle a quarter (25%) of all the parcels it handles over Christmas 2018.

Black Friday has fast become the de facto pre-Christmas spending peak since Amazon first started offering deals in the UK in 2010 to mark the Friday after the US Thanksgiving Day, a shopping event in the US since the 1940s.

This year, the click and collect provider found, 2.5m people plan to set their alarm to get up extra early on Black Friday, while 18% expected to log on around midday. One in 25 of those aged between 35 and 44 said they already had the date scheduled in their calendar. The research, carried out by YouGov, questioned 2,020 UK adults. 

Mike Richmond, chief commercial officer at Doddle said: “Black Friday is now as firmly entrenched in the UK psyche as Bank Holidays. It’s becoming a calendarised date that people plan for and change their behaviour around.”

Doddle, which now has more than 500 click and collect locations around the UK, including in branches of department store Debenhams and supermarket Morrisons and in shopping centres including The Bullring in Birmingham, expects that 25% of its overall Christmas parcel volumes will come from sales made on Black Friday.

The Doddle research suggested that for younger shoppers, Black Friday has become a military operation, with over half (52%) of 18 to 24 year olds saying they’ll make a detailed list of the purchases they want to make before the big day.

Among the over 55s, however, only one in six (16%) said they planned to do online shopping on the day and only just over a third of those (38%) planned to make a list rather than buy spontaneously. For a significant proportion of shoppers Black Friday is treated like a traditional sale date with 41% indicating they’ll ‘just go for the best offers on the day’.

The Doddle study found that technology (43%), clothing (26%) and AV equipment (25%) were the three most popular Black Friday purchases for men, while women would opt for clothing (33%), technology (28%) and health and beauty items.

Meawhile, a Royal Mail study, carried out by Trinity McQueen, questioned online 1,500 shoppers and found that although 30% would start buying for Christmas in October, most online shopping for Christmas would take place between November 15 and December 13. Shoppers spend an average of almost £300 online buying Christmas goods, and two in five online shoppers spent more in 2017 than they did in 2016. Men, found the study, spend an average of £304 each, while women spend £271. 

When asked why they shop online at Christmas, respondents cited the convenience of being able to shop from the comfort of their home (68%), the ability to shop any time of the day (63%) and the ease of comparing prices (48%). The device of choice for shopping was laptops (59%) followed by smartphones (34%). 

“With the convenience that online shopping provides, we are seeing more and more people make purchases online during the festive season,” said a Royal Mail spokesperson. 


Image courtesy of Doddle


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