Two Thirds of Black Friday Shoppers Holding Back on Planned Purchases for the Big Day

Almost two thirds (64%) of consumers stated they were holding back on planned purchases in the hope they might grab themselves a bargain during Black Friday according to the latest results from Voice of the Customer provider eDigitalResearch.

It provides hard evidence to the theory that retailer sales have suffered in the weeks and months leading up to Black Friday with consumers reluctant to purchase goods at full price knowing items could well be discounted in just a few days’ time.

Anticipation for Black Friday is building amongst consumers fuelled by the fact that some retailers already kicking off a full week of Black Friday offers. eDigitalResearch’s latest analysis shows that a growing number of social media users are talking about the sales day. Recent Twitter comments range from discussing products and deals to growing themes around delivery, sites and stores – suggesting the headline grabbing events of last year have had a lasting effect on shopper outlook. A deeper look reveals concerns around stock levels and store access, while the promise of free delivery before Black Friday has caught the attention of some consumers.

Turnout for this year’s Black Friday is likely to be the biggest yet, especially with anticipation growing amongst UK shoppers. Earlier this year, eDigitalResearch worked alongside retailing body IMRG to determine shopper attitudes towards the event and found 30% of consumers were planning to shop on the day.

However, eDigitalResesearch’s latest poll – taken just yesterday – found that, with one week to go, this has increased to 43% of consumers planning to shop on the day.

The majority of UK retailers were caught off-guard last year by the popularity of Black Friday with many stores and sites failing to cope. While some high street retailers – such as Argos – have attempted to put into place a number of initiatives to encourage as many shoppers as possible to shop before 27th November, the latest results suggest that this year’s Black Friday could be even busier.

Steve Brockway, Managing Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, “There’s been a lot of talk around Black Friday this year in the retail industry – but good or bad, Black Friday is going to happen. As the day draws closer, it seems more and more shoppers are planning to shop are holding back on planned purchases – which could help explain the softer sales that UK retailers have experienced this autumn.

“Retailers must be prepared for Black Friday and have strategies in place to deal with the unprecedented demand. Our Twitter analysis indicates that most shopper concerns are around availability and delivery so agile and up to date customer communication will be vital throughout the day and immediately afterwards”.

eDigitalResearch will also be monitoring shopper comments throughout Black Friday itself helping retailers to identify emerging themes and trends and better serve customers on the day.

Notes to editors

  • Shopping predictions purchase behaviour results are taken from eDigitalResearch’s latest Black Friday poll of 500 nationally representative consumers conducted on 20th November 2015
  • Analysis of 10,000 Black Friday Twitter comments and growing themes was conducted on 20th November 2015 using eDigitalResearch’s Text Analytics tool