Black Friday


Black Friday, the American-inspired discount event, is an opportunity for retailers to tempt consumers in the lead up to Christmas, and 2017 has been no exception. Reports shared in the lead up to the day suggested that consumer spend would reach £10 billion over the five working days that lead up to and include Black Friday, and early figures show that this year’s consumer spend has surpassed 2016’s figures [1][4]. With official figures yet to be published, we examine consumers’ attitudes towards Black Friday and how these sales affect their purchasing behaviours.

Black Friday

 An Overview of Attitudes

  • Of our 573 respondents 62% knew that Black Friday fell on 24thNovember this year. In contrast 5% of respondents reported to have not heard of Black Friday before.
  • Those aged 25-44 are most likely to participate in Black Friday with 30% having purchased last year and 30% planned to purchase in 2017.
  • Our findings suggest there’s a likelihood the temptation to purchase declines with age: 20% of 45–64s planned to purchase Black Friday deals in 2016 but just 10% of the same age group planned to purchase this year.
  • For 76% of those who intended to purchase this year or are undecided, the size of the discount is the most important driver of when deciding to buy – this increases to 84% among those aged 45-64.
  • 41% stated having the time to browse online was important, and this was highest among those aged 25-44 at 49%.
  • Amongst those who didn’t plan to purchase, 47% reasoned they didn’t need anything, and 33% stated that they didn’t like the idea of Black Friday.



Behaviours of those Planning to Buy

  • 59% of shoppers didn’t plan a budget for their Black Friday spending.
  • Of those who did set a budget 10% planned on spending £100 - £149.99, 7% planned on spending £75 - £99.99 and 6%planned on spending £150 - £199.99.
  • Some respondents were looking to part with more cash: 3% planned to spend £200 - £249.99, a further 3% between £250 - £499.99 and again 3% planned to spend upwards of £500.00.
  • Of those planning purchases, 33% planned to buy clothing and footwear whilst 30% planned to buy entertainment electricals.
  • Despite the proximity to the considerations of New Year’s resolutions, health products and sports and leisure equipment are least likely to be purchased on Black Friday, with just 5% and 4% planning on buying from these categories.
  • 46% of respondents planned to do all their Black Friday shopping online, with just 6% planning to go in-store to make their Black Friday purchases.

In 2016 we saw a trend in increasing online spend on Black Friday, with UK spend reaching £1.23 billion, a 12% YoY increase [2]. This was mirrored in the US where figures show that Black Friday 2016 became the first retail day to generate $1.2 billion in mobile revenue, a 33% growth YOY [3].


Engagers Attitudes to Black Friday

  • 52% had specific retailers in mind to visit on Black Friday and 38% planned to use deals websites to find the best offers.
  • However, for our respondents it is not a big day for buying Christmas gifts as just 20% plan to use Black Friday for this purpose and 31% stated they were neutral about using Black Friday as an opportunity to buy Christmas gifts.  
  • Despite the expectation of increased spend on Black Friday this year to previous years, almost half respondents were neutral when asked if they think the deals on Black Friday are better than those in the January sales or at other times of the year.
  • 29% of respondents reported waiting until Black Friday to purchase replacements for expensive home items.
  • 32% of respondents agreed that they might impulse shop on Black Friday.


Black Friday 2017

Whilst we’re still awaiting final figures, Barclaycard – who process almost half of all debit and credit card transactions in the UK – have estimated that Black Friday spend may be up 8% on 2016’s spend [4]. It is, however, difficult to determine what was spent on Black Friday deals and what was everyday spend [4].

It seems like Black Friday 2017 was another good year for online sales; aligned with the results from our research and continuing 2016’s trend, online traffic rose by 40% YoY between midnight and 6am on Black Friday and was up 300% on a typical day with the highest peak in spending between 6am and 7am, with traffic rising more than 400% [5].

In contrast, the high streets weren’t seeing comparative traffic, with smaller queue’s outside stores and a decrease in footfall on the high street, it seems more and more consumers are going online to find deals, correlating with our research findings [4]. It’s possible that the rush for bargains in stores was also negated by some retailers opting out of Black Friday whilst others extended their opening hours, lessening the rush [5]. 



[1] The Guardian, 2017

[2] Canvas8, 2017

[3] Adobe, 2016

[4] The Guardian, 2017

[5] BBC, 2017


This article was first published on the Carat Manchester website page.

Black Friday
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