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Member Article

Black Friday to be online-first; Amazon to profit most

Black Friday will be an online-first event for the first time in history and looks set to bolster the 2020 10-week “Mega Peak” period. 65% of spend during Black Friday is predicted to be via Amazon and with the Seattle-giant having already kicked off the 10 week mega-peak, it looks set to dominate this year’s sales quarter, with even more purchasing shifting online following the closure of non-essential physical retail until the 2nd December at the earliest.

In September, over two-thirds (67%) of UK consumers planned to do their Black Friday shopping online. Now, with the re-introduction of lockdown measures and physical retail stores restricted to the sale of essential items, that number is expected to be much higher this month.

The Black Friday period is also set to account for 43% of all spending during the peak sales period, offering a critical opportunity for brands and retailers in a massively disrupted sector.

The second national lockdown and closure of non-essential shopping will, however, have a big impact on spend, with a 22% drop on last year’s sales totalling £5.5bn. What’s more, nearly two in five (38%) expect to spend less this Black Friday while only 16% of consumers intend to spend more (compared to 24% who were surveyed in January this year). The Covid-19 pandemic isn’t the only factor influencing consumer spend with one-in-five (20%) consumers saying they would spend less over the Black Friday period due to concerns over Brexit.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest driver of spending over the Black Friday period remains buying Christmas presents for loved ones, according to 60% of consumers, who are desperate not to miss out on missed or delayed deliveries due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In comparison, in January half that number (30%) said they do their Christmas shopping over the Black Friday period.

When it comes to treating themselves, a third of shoppers (34%) plan to “self-gift”, a reduction from the 41% of shoppers who said the same last year, as the effects of lockdown slows spend during even the busiest peak period of the year.

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “Black Friday has been and will continue to be one of the most important periods in the retail calendar. 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 eCommerce 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.

“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. With margins becoming thinner and the sector under duress, brands and retailers will need to ensure they are able to act quickly and deliver on customer expectations to ensure this year ends on a festive cheer.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Wunderman Thompson Commerce .

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