Mention Me’s fourth annual research study reveals just 30% of UK consumers aren’t planning to shop this Black Friday. This decrease from last year’s figure (39%) and 2018’s (53%) suggests cost-conscious consumers increasingly value the annual shopping event.
According to the research, this Black Friday is the most anticipated yet. A quarter of the 2,000 consumers surveyed resist making major purchases in the two months leading up to the Black Friday sales. This trend is most apparent among generation Z and younger millennials. 38% of those aged between 18 and 44 hold off purchases, compared to just 15% of those aged 45 and older.
Online reviews emerged as the top discovery method for Black Friday deals this year, cited by 28% of those surveyed. Men are 35% more likely than women to research Black Friday sales online before buying. This is likely aided by many consumers’ current working from home situation and may be influenced by a lack of human interaction.
The second biggest influence on Black Friday shopping is a friend or family member’s recommendation. 18% are influenced by these referrals, up from 14% last year. For the third year running, this is the top discovery method for younger audiences, cited by 29% of 18-44-year-olds. In comparison, just 10% of Black Friday shoppers aged 45-plus are influenced by friend and family recommendations.
Brand loyalty remains a key theme this year, with a fifth of those surveyed stating that they only buy from brands they already know, a 50% increase on last year. This suggests that brands that incorporate longer term marketing planning around Black Friday will make substantial gains with their repeat customers.
More widely, the research reveals more than one fifth (22%) of Black Friday shoppers make buying decisions on the day based on the biggest discounts. This 57% increase on last year suggests some Black Friday traffic spikes won’t translate into long-term customer loyalty. Savvy spending behaviour is also reflected by the 14% of consumers who purchase the bulk of their Christmas presents on Black Friday, with 16% more men doing so than women. This trend increases among younger shoppers, with 23% of those aged 18-34 Christmas shopping on Black Friday, compared to just 4% of those aged 55 and older.
For a second year, the results reflect the growing significance of a brand's ethics. One in 10 stated they would be influenced by a brand’s positive sustainable and ethical behaviour when shopping on Black Friday. This matters more for men. 40% more men than women stated they’re influenced by a brand’s ethics and 28% more by a brand’s sustainability.
We’ve become more selfish when it comes to Black Friday spending. Almost a quarter of respondents shop for themselves (23%), up 28% on last year. In comparison, 16% shop for friends and family. This approach is most prominent among 25-44-year-olds, with 30% of shoppers in this category buying for themselves rather than friends or family.
The rise in remote working has also impacted how consumers do Black Friday shopping. 19% of those surveyed shop from their mobile (a 90% increase on last year) and 24% shop from home in the evening. This highlights the importance of brands presenting engaging and seamless mobile-first experiences. More than one in 10 admitted to shopping for Black Friday deals during the working day, with 35% more men admitting this than women.
Courtney Wylie, vice-president of product and marketing at Mention Me, said: “After a tumultuous year, Black Friday is now an even more seminal event for retailers. It offers the valuable opportunity to ramp up sales, re-engage with loyal customers and reach out to new ones. Consumer caution is apparent throughout our research, with a heightened emphasis on getting the best deal. However, consumer loyalty and the desire to engage with brands sharing their values and ethics is also evident. The retailers who have focused on building a positive brand reputations and engaging consumers throughout the pandemic will be the ones to prosper this Black Friday.”
Chloe Pepper, CRM manager at Monica Vinader, added: “Running a Black Friday referral campaign is a great way to drive even more value from the event. As well as increasing new customer acquisition and share rate this approach helped maintain momentum by incentivising customers to buy again once Black Friday ended.”
Mention Me partnered with One Poll for this survey, which questioned 2,000 UK consumers. The survey was completed 18 November 2020.