Rakuten: shoppers brace themselves for Black Friday and the stressful shopping season ahead

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With bargain hunters eagerly counting down the days until the Black Friday frenzy, Christmas cheer can quickly turn to dread for many shoppers – with the worry of getting that perfect gift and the associated cost, seeing stress levels rise for many over the coming months. That’s according to research from online loyalty programme Rakuten.co.uk, which found that more than a quarter (28%) of the customers it surveyed, feel stressed when it comes to Christmas shopping and 27% are worried about what it’s all going to cost.

With so much expectation and hype surrounding key shopping events including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 46% of those surveyed admit to shopping differently at this time of year, just to get through the task ahead. Being prepared is the name of the game with more than half (56%) of customers allowing plenty of time to shop online in the months leading up to the main event. For 16%, Christmas is a year-round concern and sees them stocking up on gifts throughout the year to help spread the cost and make their lives easier. However, for 15% the last-minute trolley dash is still the best approach.

Seeking out deals online is also a key part of the Christmas shopping psyche. Almost two-thirds (64%) of customers we spoke to actively hunt out the best prices and shop around comparing different brands before making a purchase. However, one in five (19%), prefer to shop with brands they know and trust. But, no matter how good the deal is, high quality (66%), brand trust (64%) and free delivery (64%) are the top considerations for converting online browsing into buying.

Whatever type of shopper you are, almost three quarters (74%) of people agreed that doing it online is less stressful than shopping in person and over two-thirds (68%) said they could usually find better bargains online.

“Shopping should be a fun not feared experience, especially during the festive season. There are numerous ways that shoppers can get the gifts and deals they actually want, without feeling overwhelmed or that they need to overspend.  The ability to shop online should take the stress out of shopping, no matter how you prefer to do it and how much time and budget you have. Being loyal to a brand or retailer can also lead to better deals and offers in the long-term,” comments Sebastiaan Rasterhoff, head of open e-commerce Europe, at Rakuten.co.uk.

To enable a stress-free shopping experience this Christmas, Rakuten.co.uk rewards shoppers with points for purchases made through the site, which can be exchanged for vouchers at a whole host of high street retailers. Deal seekers and brand advocates alike can take advantage of offers during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all year round, at major retail partners – from TK Maxx and HMV, through to Lego and Game – to get that perfect present for mum, dad, sister, brother or best friend. By making a purchase via Rakuten.co.uk, you will be rewarded as you spend with Rakuten’s Super Points offering. Super Points can be exchanged for monetary vouchers with New Look, ASOS and Argos, to name just a few, or other Rakuten.co.uk services.