IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality


Black Friday 2019
  • 11 Nov 2019
Black Friday Survey 2019
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead November can only mean one thing – Black Friday is imminent! With just 19 days to go before Friday 29th November, our annual survey is here to predict this year’s trends and spending habits. Top Takeaways This year, our survey indicates a rise in the people planning to bag a bargain. In fact, 57.86% of those surveyed plan to take part this year – the highest response since 2016, and a sharp rise from 48% last year. For the first time since we started our survey five years ago, we asked the people who said they weren’t going to participate why they gave that answer. Interestingly, of the people who said no, 59.79% of those said that they might change their mind, which aligns with Mintel’s reflections from last year; Mintel claim that 58% of Black Friday buyers delayed making a purchase until they had seen the promotions, suggesting that perhaps the figure of those taking part might be even higher this year. So, how are they going to shop? Our survey predicts that online is set to be the biggest winner, with 70.65% of people saying they plan to shop digitally. As Black Friday is a normal working day, this is perhaps not that surprising, as people turn to online shopping for convenience, no matter whether consumers are sat at their desk, on the bus or even whilst still in bed. However, whilst it might seem that high street shoppers are a considerably lower figure this year, standing at 3.26%, a much more promising 26.09% of people plan to combine both online stores and the high street. Perhaps this is where people might be converted to make a last-minute purchase. What are people going to buy? Year on year, technology is the most popular trend, with some big discounts to be found both online and on the high street. Our survey suggests that 2019 will no exception, with technology purchases set to be the most sought-after at 46.74%. However, that being said, 44.57% of people said that they’re on the lookout for technology, clothes and homewares; 2018 saw people making more purchases but spending less, suggesting that perhaps smaller ticket items found in fashion retail and homewares could fare a little better. The Latest Shopping Trend? Shrewd Shoppers Our survey also indicated that shoppers appear to be getting more savvy; 80.44% of people say that they don’t get carried away on Black Friday purchases – a 5.44% increase from last year. Similarly, 78.26% say they haven’t returned a Black Friday purchase, again suggesting that much research has gone on beforehand.   Are your stores ready for peak trading? Click here to download our peak trading checklist.…
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Black Friday 2018
  • 12 Nov 2018
Black Friday Survey 2018
Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Executive See the results of our 2019 Black Friday Survey here » This year, Black Friday falls on Friday 23rd November. However, whilst we didn’t see as many hordes of people waiting to push through the doors of their favoured store as we had done with borderline hysterical scenes from previous years, Black Friday was still a huge retail event in 2017, with an estimated £1.39bn spend in the UK alone. So, is 2018 set to match this? In order to take the pulse of consumer response towards Black Friday, 200 participants took part in our Black Friday survey, conducted by digital survey professionals, Toluna. High (street) hopes Remarkably, the responses reflected a positive outlook for the high street; this year’s survey showed the first drop in people planning to shop online. Although 73% of consumers plan to buy online, 27% of consumers plan to hit the high street to grab their bargains. Although this might only be a 6% rise in comparison to 21% last year, the previous three years have shown a steady decline YoY, perhaps heralding the theory that consumers aren’t prepared to ditch the high street just yet. The research revolution Interestingly, whilst some shoppers might succumb to FOMAD (Fear of Missing a Deal), our survey advocated otherwise. 75% of consumers said that they don’t get carried away over Black Friday, with 79% claiming that they’ve never returned a Black Friday purchase. This suggests that customers are clued-up on their buys, supporting the research revolution, where consumers are using webrooming (looking online but buying in-store) and showrooming (looking in-store but buying online) to their advantage, empowering consumers to make the right choice for them. Returns However, for the slim percentage that had returned Black Friday purchases, 24% said it was because they regretted an impulse buy, with 35% of respondents saying that their return was due to sizing problems. A further 28% returned the item due to finding it cheaper elsewhere, highlighting the need for retailers to be price savvy – or customers will take their business elsewhere. However, 13% explained that they returned the item due to ‘insufficient funds’ perhaps highlighting that, for some, the opportunity for a good deal is too good to miss! Black Friday Participation This year, our survey found a small drop in people planning to participate in Black Friday, suggesting that just 48% of people plan on taking part. Whilst previous years had seen higher numbers, with 2015 and 2016 suggesting that 59% of those surveyed were going to participate, last year was only 1% higher. This could suggest that whilst there might have been an initial hype surrounding Black Friday and the deals that were offered in relation to it, consumer interest has waned, but is showing signs of stability.   Whilst a figure of 48% might seem low, this figure doesn’t factor those impulse buyers who might be swayed by attractive deals and price reductions. Are you ready for peak trading? With the possibility…
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Black Friday 2017
  • 23 Oct 2017
Black Friday 2017 Survey
Black Friday 2017: all you need to know When is Black Friday 2017? This year, Black Friday 2017 falls on Friday 24th November. We expect the discounting event to continue over the weekend, with Cyber Monday on 27th November, and stretching over the rest of the week. Last year, £1.23bn was spent online on Black Friday alone, making it the UK’s first billion pound shopping day. Spanning the whole week, from Monday 21st November to Monday 28th November in 2016, online sales rose to an estimated £6.5bn in the UK. But how many people will shop on Black Friday this year, taking place in just 5 weeks’ time? The results may surprise you, as the “death of Black Friday” has begun to dominate the retail headlines, with retailers reluctant to participate in order to protect their margins. As in previous years, check out our Black Friday 2017 research in our infographic below. Black Friday 2017 infographic In order to analyse consumer sentiment towards Black Friday trading, this year 400 respondents took our Black Friday survey, powered by digital insights company Toluna. See our full findings in the below Black Friday 2017 infographic. You can view our Black Friday 2016 survey results here. For the first time ever, more consumers plan to avoid Black Friday this year than those who are planning to participate. With just under half of respondents planning to buy something on Black Friday (49%), this is significantly lower than the same percentage as in 2016. Of course, this does not account for the impulse buyers that could take unexpected advantage of deals over the sale period. However, many analysts have pointed towards the fact consumers have become accustomed to an ongoing discounting calendar throughout the year. Summer and autumn in particular have been stunted by mid-season sales. If sales and discounts are less of a “big deal”, and just part of the retail fabric, it’s understandable why the consumer mindset has shifted in the same way as Black Friday becomes “just another sale day”. Another reason for the declining popularity of Black Friday can be understood from consumers’ strong disdain for Black Friday “hype” – over a third of respondents (33%) dislike Black Friday for this reason. An online-only affair 79% of respondents are set to be online Black Friday shoppers, which is a small increase on 77% in 2016. The shift to online in recent years can be tracked through our research displayed in the infographic. The majority of Black Friday spend in 2016 was via online channels, rising 12% year on year. Ensuring that you have extra capacity in place is critical for omnichannel retailers and pureplay etailers alike, as a surge in website traffic can cause fatal outages for those who are unprepared. As well as completing special data capacity increase projects for peak trading, Retail Assist’s 24×7 operations monitoring and support is facilitating greater systems uptime, which is critical for any brand over Black Friday. Priming your retail operations for peak trading Long…
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  • 31 Oct 2016
Black Friday Survey 2016
Black Friday 2016 is hot on the agenda for retailers, taking place at the end of the November – from Friday 25th November and across the long weekend. Current predictions have indicated that online channels (especially mobile) are ones to watch this Black Friday: £5billion is expected to be splashed out over “Black Fiveday”, and that just accounts for online spend. In order to analyse the consumer opinion of Black Friday trading, this year 300 respondents took our Black Friday survey. See our full findings in the below Black Friday infographic. You can view our Black Friday 2015 survey results here. With just over half of respondents planning to buy something on Black Friday (59%), this is the same percentage as in 2015. As mentioned before, it may seem low, but this figure doesn’t take into account the amount of impulse buyers that could take unexpected advantage of “don’t miss deals” over the Fiveday sale periods. Although last year predictions totalled £1billion, in reality UK shoppers spent £3.3bn over the weekend online and in-store. This is the “unpredictable” demand, in the face of which retailers have geared up to prime and protect their ecommerce platforms, logistics and supply chain operations for maximum performance. Will 2016 sales top £5bn predictions? Time will tell.  54% of respondents are looking to take advantage of the extended Black “Fiveday” discount period, making multiple purchases across the weekend. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales may also affected due to the event falling before the traditional UK payday on top10paydaysites. A massive 77% of respondents are set to be online Black Friday shoppers, which is an increase on 70% in 2015. The move to online has been reported on extensively in recent years, as the scrumlike fights in-store for discount TVs in 2014 have given over to purchases behind screens and virtual queueing. This is perhaps due to consumer frustrations and fears about a hectic in-store Black Friday experience. Did you know that 40% of consumers won’t queue for longer than 2 minutes, and 51% refuse to even enter a store if they see a queue? Increased demand means a busy store is inevitable, but making customer service more efficient should be a number one priority for retailers during peak trading season. Till down-time and queueing are preventable issues, if you have the correct support in place. Our IT Help Desk analysts are experienced in front line retail service, and understand the real impact of systems downtime at peak periods. Our 24×7 IT and technical support facilitates greater systems uptime at point of service, critical for any brand, any time of year. You can download our How To Guide: Preparing Stores for Peak Trading, here. Make sure to check out our post Black Friday analysis blog, for a full analysis and breakdown of this year’s event. If you’d like to use our survey results, please get in touch at…
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Gen Z
  • 6 Jun 2016
Gen Z vs Gen X vs Gen Y: Shopping Habits Survey
Click here to read our new and updated 2018 Gen Z Shopping Survey. For the purpose of this blog and infographic, Gen Z refers to those aged 14-21, Gen Y 22-35 and Gen X 36-55.  Generation Z. Born post-1995, in the age group 14-21, they’ve proved a difficult bunch to define; previously upcoming ‘influencers’ within the retail and hospitality market but now with new-found buying power and a disruptive influence that makes them the most lucrative market to target. They’re switched on, price conscious, and hyper connected to their surroundings – including social media and technology. They want it now, they won’t wait, and have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips ready to influence their buying decisions. After researching Gen Y and Gen X shopping habits last year, Retail Assist’s latest survey has revealed some critical information regarding Gen Z shopping habits, and debunked some common myths that might surprise you… Here are our top 5 takeaways from the survey: The high street is not dead for Gen Z, with 58% of respondents choosing this as their favourite method of shopping. Click and collect is not popular with Gen Z: 61% have never used it. Nearly three quarters of Gen Z don’t have their favourite retailer’s app installed on their smartphone. 73% of Gen Z would made a purchase due to a social media recommendation. When shopping, 84% of Gen Z make it a social activity, i.e. a part of their day out, lunch/coffee/cinema. Please feel free to share the following full infographic of our findings. Analysis So, of the Gen Z-ers surveyed, what surprised us here? High St reigns supreme. Thought Gen Z was all about the online experience, clicks over bricks, and ecomm dominance? Think again. 58% of those we surveyed prefer to shop on the High Street, the highest percentage of any generation, compared to 40% of Gen Y and 48% of Gen X. Analysing the practical reasons behind this: not many 16y/os have online spending power – unable to transact online without a debit card, most shop with cash. With a lack of patience and a desire to acquire fast fashion “now”, the high street is also the best place to do so with no waiting for deliveries and the ability to take the product literally straight off the shelf. ‘Appy shoppers? Not for Gen Z. Although Gen Z admit being glued to their smartphones, 74% of them do not have their favourite retailer’s app installed. There are subtleties to be considered with Gen Z: just because they browse for products on their smartphones and devices, this doesn’t mean they desire an app to complete a purchase. The reason? Many of this age range don’t have big enough data contracts on their phones to support multiple app downloads. Instead, they prefer to use their devices to browse social media in order to discover more about product ranges.   What was concretized? Social media addiction. Gen Z idols are YouTube stars, vloggers, and Insta-famous fashionistas. They…
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Black Friday 2015
  • 16 Nov 2015
Vlog: Is the Black Friday model a sustainable approach to UK retailing?
In a shock turn of Black Friday events, retail giant Asda announced it’d be pulling out of this year’s proceedings. Arguably, as the Walmart-owned brand that first introduced the annual US tradition to the UK in 2013, Asda’s decision to refrain is a bold one. But, as our Head of Marketing explains in today’s vlog, is crippling annual Black Friday demand a sustainable model for UK retailers? Will others persevere with fulfilling customer expectations for mega discounting? Or will more retailers shy away from Black Friday?…
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  • 19 Oct 2015
Black Friday: Are You Ready?
Have you noticed the chill in the air recently? It’s the bated breath of retailers across the world as they brace themselves for the overwhelming consumer demand riding on the wave of Black Friday. Dramatic, but perhaps a necessary introduction: this year, it’s set to be even bigger, with the media latching onto the current prediction that November 27th could be the UK’s first ever £1billion shopping day. With just 6 weeks to go until Black Friday, here’s a few useful facts to start with: When is Black Friday 2015? 27th November How much did Black Friday make in 2014? $50.9 billion was spent during the 4 day Black Friday weekend worldwide in 2014. How much did Brits splash out online during Black Friday 2014? An estimated £810m, according to internet retail experts IMRG. This was an increase of 74% on 2013 figures. We have also examined the consumer sentiment around Black Friday in a recent Retail Assist survey. Check out the response in our infographic below (and don’t forget you can share with it with the embed code).   With just over half of respondents planning to buy something on Black Friday (59%), it might seem that the pre-event demand is on the low side, given the current £1bn predictions. However, this figure doesn’t take into account the amount of impulse buyers (potentially the remaining 41%), who may on the day decide to purchase in the face of rock-bottom prices. And it’s this “unpredictable” demand that caught the majority of retailers out last year (recall those day-long website blackouts, fatal supply chain breakdowns, and logistics nightmares?) In terms of the winter shopping season, Black Friday is still the premier shopping event, with 53% of people saying it’s their preferred discount shopping event. 36% prefer the New Year Sales, with a small 11% opting for Boxing Day, previously a well-established tradition in the retail calendar. Perhaps the most interesting majority is the massive 70% of respondents planning to shop Black Friday goods online, compared to just 30% in-store. This means that retailers will need to provide a faultless ecomm experience, and take preventative measures to ensure websites don’t go down. Apart from considerations of the scale of the event, many are wondering what else will be different this year. As retail IT specialists, we’re interested in the lessons learned from last year regarding supply chain resilience, including fulfilment and delivery promises. Some retailers, including Oasis, have announced plans to scale down this year, focussing on 100% fulfilment of the customer promise for a better brand experience, rather than over-exert and under-deliver. We might expect to see more social interaction in real-time from retailers updating customers on orders, to improve the customer experience further. Deliveries might experience a different slant this year; new click-and-collect charges could decrease consumer demand for delivery to store. However, omnichannel must still be a priority, as consumers expect the same Black Friday brand experience online as they would in-store, with a full range of order and…
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  • 22 Jun 2015
Festival Fashion Survey
Festival season is truly upon us in the UK! The rather wet June weather promises muddy fields and a whole lot of fun for Glastonbury goers later this week, as tradition goes. Ahead of the festival period, most retailers respond to festival fashion demand with a whole range of boho trends, rock get-up, extravagant accessories and quirky prints. But just how big is the festival trend this summer? And what are the true festival essentials? We carried out an original festival fashion survey to find out more. Please feel free to share our infographic with the embed code at the bottom of the page! Although 41% of people we surveyed haven’t been to a festival, this doesn’t seem to stop the festival trend returning year after year. It wasn’t surprising that wellies were the number one item for festivalgoers to pack, arguably the most essential item of clothing! This was followed by a great outfit, as the festival fashionistas look to score fashion brownie points by sporting the best festival wear, and of course Instagram their best look. It also came as no surprise that 56% of people go all out at a festival, and wear more extravagant outfits than usual. Just under half (48%) said that retailers should stock more festival wear. This perhaps points to the general positive trend in festival fashion ranges that retailers experience, and the fair amount of festival window displays and marketing campaigns that shoppers expect to see around May/June. Retailers can take their collections further and increase engagement by posting “Top 5 Festival looks” or trend pages, as our customers ASOS and Oasis have done. Will you be attending Glastonbury this week, or another festival this summer? What are your festival fashion essentials? Post your comments below! Share this Image On Your Site <p><strong>Please include attribution to with this graphic.</strong></p><br /> <p><a href=’’><img src=’’ alt=’Retail Assist Festival Survey’ width=’540px’ border=’0′ /></a></p><br /> <p>…
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Gen X and Gen Y
  • 8 Jun 2015
Gen X and Gen Y Shopping Survey
For the purpose of this blog and infographic, Gen X refers to those age 36-55, and Gen Y 15-35. To see our 2016 survey results including Gen Z click here. Much has been said about the all-consuming, tech-insatiable Generation Y, the “millennials” brought up to live and breathe in the digital age. They’re the profile of the future shopper. Samsung researched the 16-24 generation in their ‘Future Shoppers’ report late last year, which found that retailers needed to create in-store theatre with more innovative technology in order to appeal to the younger generation. But does this just apply to Generation Y? Or is this a trend amongst all consumers? At Retail Assist, we’re always keen to investigate the current trends, so we undertook an original survey to produce this Generation X vs Generation Y infographic: As you can see, the difference between Gen X and Gen Y’s use of technology doesn’t look startlingly different. The large majority of consumers are engaged with retail technology, and over 80% have an omnichannel approach. The same percentage are using apps to shop, an insight into the explosion of mobile across the UK consumer base. However, the high street still remains a popular channel for both Gen X and Y. Gen X and Y also have the same reservations when shopping online, with their biggest barrier to purchase being hidden delivery charges. Low cost convenience is high on both of their agendas, with click and collect used once a month by 28% of each group. The biggest difference our survey highlights is perhaps shopping online. 40% of Gen Y prefer to shop online, compared to just 8% of Gen X. The second most popular option for Gen X after the high street was shopping outlets, which cater to the discount mentality of many shoppers – same brand quality at lower prices. Perhaps the most interesting point to take forward from this research is that attitudes to omnichannel and the use of tech to shop is prevalent across the consumer base, and is not just exclusive to Gen Y. So retailers, tailor the shopping experience, but don’t neglect the fact that technology is fast becoming an enabler for all age groups. Do you have an opinion on the shopping habits in different generations? Or would you like to share our infographic? Please scroll down to use our comment box and embed code. Share this Image On Your Site <p><strong>Please include attribution to with this graphic.</strong></p> <p><a href=’’><img src=’’ alt=’Gen X and Gen Y’ width=’540px’ border=’0′ /></a></p> <p>…
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Retail Assist Summer Spending
  • 18 May 2015
Summer Spending hotting up for Retailers
Last week, the latest retail sales statistics for April (BRC) were released, showing a positive underlying trend. Although the early Easter heavily distorted April’s figures, the UK experienced the best three-month average year-on-year growth since June last year. In light of this, we decided to conduct our very own Retail Assist Big Summer Survey, to find out consumers’ plans for summer holidays and summer retail spending. The majority of our survey respondents are still organising their summer holiday (61%), but that hasn’t stopped them starting to revamp their summer wardrobe! Here’s a Retail Assist infographic to share our findings (and feel free to share it with the embed code at the bottom).   Perhaps the most interesting stats to come out of our summer spending survey are the ways in which people prefer to shop for their holiday clothes. The high street reigned supreme, with an overwhelming 75% of consumers choosing this method, over mobile/tablet at 18%, and online at 7%. This almost reverses the current reports on the e-commerce boom. Because the most common reason people choose shopping on the high street is for ‘inspiration’, it could be that the high street shoppers are just browsing or window shopping. But, increasingly, the need to physically try on holiday clothes, and the warmer summer weather, means that most people find themselves on the high street in the lead up to summer. Retailers, ensure that your window displays are on trend and eye catching to keep the customers coming in. Regarding the most popular summer clothes that consumers will be on the lookout for, 61% of people we surveyed said that summer dresses are their favourite item to buy. The perfect pair of sunglasses came behind at 22%, with bikinis at 15%, and flip flops at 2%. And a fun statistic to end with: our respondents chose a fashionable outfit over sun cream as their main priority to pack. With 70% of people choosing clothes, 28% choosing a good book, and 2% selecting sun cream as the most important item to pack, hopefully they’ll prioritise their passports too! Like our infographics and original research? Give us a follow on Twitter for more retail stats, or follow our Pinterest page to check out our other infographics. Are you going on holiday soon? Or have you splashed out on some new summer wear? Tweet us a picture @RetailAssist. Share this Image On Your Site Please include attribution to with this graphic.…
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