Black Friday on the wane? Not for millennials

Reports | Retail
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In the context of a faltering retail market, Kantar TNS has commissioned a survey exploring consumers’ attitudes to and spending habits around Black Friday, due to take place this year on Friday 23 November.

The findings – delivered by Kantar TNS’ Research Express service and detailed below – are based on the responses of a demographically representative group of 1,236 adults (aged 16+) in Great Britain, given between 1 – 5 November 2018.

Who’s shopping for Black Friday sales in 2018?

Black Friday 2018 may not deliver the pre-Christmas boost in sales that retailers are hoping for:

  • 45% of respondents say they have shopped on Black Friday in the past but only 27% plan to do so this year. While the event has become a regular feature in the retail calendar, it seems that its popularity is on the wane.
  • When split by age, there’s quite a difference. 44% of millennials (those born between 1981-1997) are planning to shop, while older demographics – those likely to have higher levels of disposable income – are the least likely to shop this year.
  • Online remains the most popular way to purchase Black Friday bargains – just over one quarter of people have made a purchase on the web in the past compared to 10% in store.
  • 40% of Black Friday shoppers have spent over £150 during a single Black Friday sales period.

Black Friday – damaging brand perceptions?

  • One third of people think that retailers participating in the sales are simply jumping on the bandwagon, while only one quarter thinks it means they can get a good deal.
  • 12% of people think the sales lead to smaller / local retailers being priced out of the market.
  • Younger people, again, are most likely to feel that the sales offer good deals – 41% of 16-24 year olds and 35% of 25-34 year olds.

Millennials – Black Friday’s biggest fans?

  • Millennials err towards spending more in Black Friday sales, while older generations tend to spend slightly less.
  • Nearly two thirds (61%) of millennials think that the sales offer good value for money, which perhaps explains why they’re likely to spend at the upper end of the scale.
  • Millennials are most likely (34%) to visit physical stores to seek out Black Friday deals.

Want versus need

There seems to be a generational and gender split in what motivates people to buy in the Black Friday sales, suggesting that retailers might benefit from adapting their marketing strategies to fit different buying habits:

  • 57% of men made a purchase in the Black Friday sales when they had a specific item in mind compared to 41% of women, while 59% of women bought something when browsing (versus 43% of men).
  • Older generations are more likely to browse for deals (62% of 55-64 year olds) in the Black Friday sales, perhaps exercising their higher disposable income, but buy specific items that they want as they need them – 62% of 55-64 year olds and 65% of over 65s said they wouldn’t wait to buy an item they wanted.
  • Younger people (59% of 25-34 year olds) are more likely to seek out deals for specific items, perhaps because they are likely to be less affluent.
  • Generally, people are not prepared to wait. 42% of people said they’d buy an item they needed right away rather than waiting for it to be discounted.  However, a significant proportion of younger consumers plan their spend around the sales, with 35% of 25-34 year olds willing to wait at least a month to buy a discounted item (compared to 16% of 65+).

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