IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 7 Nov 2016

Black Friday demand: hype or reality?

The media does much to hype up Black Friday year on year, inflating the event as the end of November approaches. From spending forecasts of £5BN, to hints about the best deals, consumers can’t help but be swept up in the Black Friday build-up.

But how far are the forecasts correct? Are UK consumers still buying into the Black Friday concept, or are they tired of the retail frenzy? Our Black Friday survey reveals more.

Something that could damage this year’s Black Friday experience is the apparent mismatch between retailers’ and consumers’ perceptions of expected spending. Research for Retail Week conducted by Retail Economics shows that 40% of retailers are anticipating higher demand, but only a small 14% of consumers intend to spend more during Black Friday 2016.

Black Friday 2016

In fact, as the infographic shows above, nearly ¾ shoppers actually plan to spend LESS this year. Of the survey conducted by Retail Assist, just over half of our respondents (59%) are planning to shop at all.

So, can retailers really sit back and relax if consumers are planning to spend less?

In short, the answer is no. Black Friday is still a largely unpredictable event. Who’s to say that of those consumers “planning not to buy”, they might browse online or in-store over the weekend, and be tempted to make an unexpected purchase due to the lure of “unmissable” discounts. In addition, the vast amount of consumers logging on to browse deals means your ecommerce platform must be functioning at 100% performance to provide the best customer experience, even if those prospecting shoppers don’t convert.

Black Friday will still be used as a measure against which retailers’ peak trading performance is tested, and judged by consumers and the wider retail industry.

Make sure you’ve planned for Peak Trading. Working with leading retailers, we have developed a simple in-store checklist to make sure staff and systems are best prepared for increased demand.

You can download Retail Assist’s free peak trading guide here.



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