The novelty of Black Friday is starting to wear off, a new study suggests. The Retail Economics report also suggests that shoppers will be more likely to visit the store than go online during the course of the day.
But another study, from Flubit.com, suggests that only one in 10 shoppers would visit the store in search of a bargain on the day.
One in five (21%) of 2,000 UK consumers questioned for the Retail Economics Black Friday 2016 survey over the course of October 12 said they would be hunting for discounts on Black Friday 2016, which falls on November 25.
Of those who said they would take part, 74% said they expected to spend less than they did on Black Friday 2015, while 40% expected demand to be higher than last year. Questioned this year, 75% said they did not buy any discounted products on Black Friday last year, while 25% did.
This year 20% of those who said they did expect to bargain hunt expected to do more of their Black Friday shopping online, while 20% said they would be more likely to be buy electrical goods.
Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics said: “Despite the retail frenzy brought about by Black Friday over the last couple of years, this new research shows that UK consumers may be growing tired of the event with just 21% of shoppers planning to participate, down on last year’s levels.
“What’s more, our research shows there is a mismatch between consumers’ and retailers’ perceptions of Black Friday with 40% of retailers expecting higher demand compared with just 14% of consumers who said they intend to spend more this year.
“It also appears that crashing retailer websites and poor online availability last year may drive consumers back into stores in the fear of missing out on the best deals. Only one in five consumers said that they planned to do more Black Friday shopping online this year compared with 70% of retailers surveyed who thought online demand will be higher.
But, he said: “Fading demand for Black Friday is not necessarily a bad thing for retailers who would rather see incremental spend spread across the whole of the Christmas season than discounted sales pulled forward at the expense of future demand. It also eases pressure on capacity constraints for retailers who have previously struggled with crowded stores, failing websites and poor customer experiences.”
Independent marketplace Flubit.com also questioned 2,000 shoppers and found that only one in 10 would head to the high street on Black Friday, citing factors including stress (20%), hyperactive children (21%) and annoyingly overfriendly staff (12%). Instead, 29% said they would do all their sale hunting online.
Tia Saunders, spokesperson for Flubit.com, said: “Consumers are clearly keen to avoid the Black Friday madness that we’ve seen in previous years, with our research suggesting most will be cashing in on deals from the comfort of their own home.
“With retailers now embracing Black Friday in their online operations, shoppers will have unprecedented choice and access to deals throughout the day.”
Flubit.com will be marking Black Friday with 28 days of deals, and agrees with the Retail Economics research in finding that electronics are the best-sellers on the day.