UK shoppers to spend £1.7bn on themselves this Black Friday, reports Doddle

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Brits are shopping for themselves on Black Friday according to research from the purple parcel people, Doddle, which shows nearly 40% of Brits will be making personal purchases rather than sorting their Christmas shopping this Black Friday.

Over 55% of Brits intend to shop on Black Friday; 40% said they would mostly be shopping for themselves, spending on average £123 on self-gifting purchases. Men appear to be the bigger/more selfish of the gender spenders with 43% of men shopping mostly for themselves, compared to 33% of women. Men also expect to spend on average £63 more on themselves than women, with the average man’s Black Friday self-spend reaching £157.

Traditionally January has been the peak for self-shopping, however with discounting starting earlier, Doddle suggests the rise of Black Friday could mean the end of January sales as consumers will have already spent their last pennies before the end of December. While consumers here prepare for Black Friday, yesterday in China the equaivalent ‘Singles Day’ saw online consumers break online spending records. Now in it’s seventh year it is expected to result in almost $14bn worth of sales, an increase of over $4 billion from last year.

Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO, said: “Black Friday has completely changed the retail cycle not only in terms of the timing of volume but also consumer behaviour. Where previously consumers would have waited to make personal purchases in January, there’s now a fear they’ll miss out on the good stuff if they wait that long. By the end of December consumers will have already spent their total budget on themselves and Christmas gifts. This makes buying presents harder than ever with many families caught out by the self-spenders.

“As a result I think we’ll begin to see January sale periods shorten dramatically, as retailers won’t be able to sustain three months of discounting. This then puts greater pressure on the supply chain from a delivery and returns perspective. Retailers will have to look at how they can tighten the returns cycle to ensure they aren’t left with vast volumes of stock returned after Black Friday waiting to be processed for resale pre-Christmas.

The Black Friday delivery dilemma

Carriers and retailers have been preparing all year for the spike in parcel volumes brought on by Black Friday, hiring more drivers and investing infrastructure. One solution that has been proposed is to manage the Black Friday volumes by spreading delivery out across slower services, but reassuring customers that their deliveries will be made in time for Christmas.

However, Doddle’s research suggests that using Christmas as the deadline may be misguided if nearly half the parcel volume is personal purchases rather than Christmas presents.

Robinson said: “I think there’s a common belief in the industry that as long as a Black Friday delivery is made in time for Christmas, the consumer will be accepting of a slower service. However, if it’s not a Christmas present, using Christmas as the cut off is a misnomer.  

“We know from multiple studies and the success of services like Amazon’s Prime Now, that consumers increasingly want same day or next day delivery services. They are impatient for the goods they’ve spent their hard earned cash on, so offering slower delivery around Black Friday probably is not going to meet their expectations. Instead there needs to be greater collaboration within the supply chain to ensure capacity is maximised and services continue to meet consumers’ needs, not just the needs of the industry.”