Three quarters of UK shoppers will avoid physical stores on Black Friday, Genesys reports

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Nearly three quarters of shoppers – 74% – of UK consumers won’t hit High Street for Black Friday offers, with over half saying they never shop in-store during the sales event. This is according to a study from Genesys, the global leader in omni-channel customer experience and contact centre solutions. 30% of UK shoppers cite crowded stores as the biggest reason for avoiding Black Friday events.

Of the 74% of UK consumers not shopping in brick and mortar stores this Black Friday, over half (53%) say they “never” go to hunt for bargains. What makes things more challenging for retailers is that 21% of shoppers used to go shopping in-store during Black Friday but have since stopped, suggesting that retailers need to entice shoppers with more than offers to return to physical stores.

The Black Friday shopping trend is pointing more towards online with more than a quarter (27%) of UK consumers saying they prefer it because it’s easier. However, where this is seen as more convenient, 85% of UK consumers base their purchasing decisions on how well a retailer deals with customer service issues. The second biggest influence on spending decision for 43% of consumers is value for money.

“During this heightened shopping season, consumers not only look for the best possible deals, but increasingly base their purchasing decisions on how well businesses respond to issues, such as making returns and requesting technical support,” said Mark Armstrong, vice president for UK and Ireland at Genesys. “Therefore, it is important that regardless of the sales channel, whether in-store or online, brands provide positive experiences and have the means to effectively communicate with customers to solve queries or complaints.”

The generational divide

When it comes to generational differences, Millennial and Baby Boomer shoppers are completely aligned. in fact, 89% of neither generation intends to shop in a physical store this Black Friday. Interestingly, 68% of Generation X shoppers – those aged between 35-54 and sit between Millennials and Baby Boomers say they won’t shop in store either. It’s clear in-store Black Friday events lack appeal for all generations of shoppers.

Less than a quarter of Boomers (23%) will shop online for Black Friday deals instead of visiting a physical store compared to 38% of Generation X and 32% of Millennial shoppers. This could be down to Boomers being less internet-savvy than younger generations but these findings could also suggest that physical, online and multichannel retailers could be losing Black Friday revenue by failing to provide customer experiences that cater for older shoppers.