Black Friday: Economic challenges “can’t dampen the holiday spirit” as sales expected to rise in 2023

After a difficult five years, UK consumers aren’t letting the ongoing cost-of-living crisis interfere with their Christmas spending with the average spend for Black Friday 2023 expected to reach £184.55, up from £171.66 in 2022, according to Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology.

With over half (54 per cent) of consumer spend this Black Friday period predicted to be on Christmas presents, Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology’s Black Friday report reveals that the “sales extravaganza” is still very much synonymous with “festive gift giving and the holidays”.

And the trend towards online shopping hasn’t diminished now that brick-and-mortar stores are back to business. In fact, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Black Friday spend is set to be online this year.

All of which will be music to the ears of marketplaces, spearheaded by giants like Amazon who remain the top choice for Black Friday deals, accounting for 54 per cent of all Black Friday spend. However, amongst the 16 to 24 age group specifically, Amazon’s stronghold has become weaker, capturing only 37 per cent of the market share.

Consumer trust also remains a concern for the bigger players. A mere one in ten (10 per cent) consumers feel they are the primary beneficiaries of Black Friday, with almost a third (31 per cent) agreeing that Amazon benefits most from the sales period.

This sentiment is further echoed by the fact that only 37 per cent of UK consumers believe they secure the best deals during this shopping bonanza. The lingering disappointment from last year’s sales, felt by two-fifths (41 per cent) of consumers, underscores the urgent need for retailers to recalibrate their strategies.

And consumers have more considerations at play this year: one being the environmental impact of their purchases. 30 per cent of consumers are re-evaluating their Black Friday shopping habits due to environmental concerns this year. What’s more, over half (58 per cent) are open to more sustainable delivery options, such as “Amazon Day Delivery.”

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce and Technology, commented: “In a year marred by economic challenges, the indomitable spirit of the UK consumer shines through.

“While the increase in anticipated spending might come as a surprise to some, it’s perhaps the deal-hungry consumers who have felt the economic pinch the most. Retailers must be prepared for a bustling Black Friday, ensuring they not only promote enticing deals but also deliver on them.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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