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Amazon predicted to bag 65% of UK Black Friday sales as lockdown drives shoppers online

By John Glenday | Reporter



Christmas article

November 16, 2020 | 4 min read

Amazon is heading for a bumper Black Friday as lockdown-battered high streets, malls and retail parks cede trade to the online behemoth.

Wunderman Thompson has christened this year's sales spectacular as an 'online-first' event, projecting that Amazon will hoover up 65% of all spend with at least 67% of British consumers ditching bricks and mortar outlets in favour of web-based spending.

Amazon predicted to bag 65% of UK Black Friday sales as lockdowns drive shoppers online

Amazon predicted to bag 65% of UK Black Friday sales as lockdowns drive shoppers online

The Black Friday 2020 report is based on two Censuswide surveys spanning 5,000 online consumers between them conducted in January and September this year.

How is Amazon capitalising on lockdown woes?

  • According to the Black Friday 2020 report, Amazon has emerged as a lockdown winner, monopolising Black Friday trade going into the 'Mega Peak' shopping frenzy which characterises the 10-week pre-Christmas build-up.

  • Back in September 67% of UK consumers predicted that they would conduct Black Friday shopping online but with the reintroduction of lockdown measures and the closure of non-essential physical retail that proportion is only likely to increase.

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  • Underlying the importance of Black Friday to seasonal sales, the period is predicted to account for 43% of all spending in the run up to Christmas.

How are consumers holding up in response to economic uncertainty?

  • While online retailers are set to win big, this shift disguises weak underlying confidence, with the continued pandemic plight expected to lead to a 22% fall in sales overall, which stood at £5.5bn last year.

  • 38% of respondents expect to spend less during Black Friday this year, far outnumbering the 16% who expect to spend more. Compounding the misery are a further 20% of consumers who have reined in spending amid fears over Brexit.

  • Logistical concerns are likely to bring forward significant volumes of spending with 60% concerned about the possibility of missed or delayed deliveries.

  • Keen to tide themselves through the pandemic, some 34% of shoppers intend to 'self-gift', a fall from the 41% proportion intending to treat themselves last year.

  • Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “This distinctly online-first event will present many challenges – and opportunities – for brands, retailers and marketplaces with so much uncertainty in the market. Those businesses who have invested in their e-commerce operations properly look set to reap the biggest rewards, while those who haven’t will struggle to compete for market share in an increasingly digital shopping space."

  • He went on: “One of the digital natives set to profit most is, once again, Amazon. It delayed its summer Prime Day to October to kick off the 10-week sales bonanza, introduced Black Friday deals early and can offer shoppers’ convenience, reliability and diversity in its product range."

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