Black Friday (29 November 2013) will trigger a £4.4bn spending spree as cash-strapped Brits hit the pre-Christmas sales, according to research by digital marketing technology expert, RedEye.
According to the RedEye Pre-Christmas Sales Report, more than 25m consumers will flock either in-store or online to take advantage of pre-Christmas sales this year, spending an average of £174.00 each.
The report, based on views from Boots, Topshop and Newlook, plus responses from over 2,000 British shoppers, marks the beginning of the pre-Christmas sales period that starts tomorrow. Traditionally a US phenomenon, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when shops slash their prices to encourage sales, is now gathering pace in the UK, with retailers such as Apple, Amazon and Asda all offering special discounts to kick-start the festive period.
Over half (53%) will shun January sales in favour of pre-Christmas sales, while one in seven (14%) plan to spend more in the run up to Christmas than they did in 2012.
Women in particular plan to take advantage of the sales, with almost half (48%) planning to buy all of their Christmas shopping in November to make the most of discounted prices. Men tend to be less organised, with four in 10 (39%) admitting leaving their Christmas shopping to the last minute.
Mark Patron, CEO of RedEye, said: “Britain has become a nation of discount junkies, but not every retailer can compete on price. For those looking to gain a share of the wallet this year, a strong multi-channel marketing campaign that targets the right people, at the right time, with the right message, will be crucial.
“Last year, UK shoppers spent more than £70bn in-store and online over the whole Christmas period, so there’s a big opportunity at stake, especially with more retailers expected to take part in Black Friday sales this year.”
With a third (30%) of UK consumers planning to use their mobile device (e.g. smartphone, tablet) to do all of their Christmas shopping this year, it comes as no surprise that John Lewis is preparing for what it believes will be the UK’s first ‘mobile Christmas’.
Younger shoppers in particular are driving this trend, with more than half (56 per cent) of 18-24 year olds planning to research all of their Christmas shopping via a mobile device (eg smartphone, tablet) before buying a single product. Six in 10 (60%) also admit to checking the price of products on their smartphone while in-store to see if they can find a better deal elsewhere.
Patron said: “With more than a third (34%) of consumers planning to spend their money on electronics this Christmas and mobile devices at the top of many wish lists, it is not just pre-Christmas sales that will drive mobile traffic – Christmas Day itself will be an important shopping day for retailers.
“As people unwrap their new tablets, phablets and smartphones on Christmas Day, retailers need to ensure they have a strategy in place to capitalise on the surge in mobile browsing activity as consumers use their shiny new tablets and gift cards to take advantage of the online sales.”