Brits planning bumper festive spending, but wary of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, research shows


New research by market research specialists Savanta has revealed that, despite uncertainty about Christmas, Britons still plan on upping their festive spending – but are ambivalent about Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  

The poll, of 2,141 respondents on 21st and 22nd November, found that three in four people (72%) plan to spend more on Christmas this year, including one in three (32%) who will spend 50-100% more. Just one in five (19%) said they plan to spend less. This is despite only half (55%) of respondents saying they will definitely celebrate Christmas this year, one third (34%) saying they want to but don’t yet know if it will be feasible, and 11% saying they will not. 

When it comes to Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending plans, respondents are more ambivalent. One in three (34%) say they will spend less on Black Friday this year. More people are planning on buying Black Friday deals online this year – 35% say they plan to, compared with 27% who did last year. 

Attitudes towards Black Friday and Cyber Monday themselves remain mixed. One in three (36%) think that Black Friday is bad for small and medium sized businesses, compared with only 18% thinking it is not. Perhaps relatedly, only a quarter (26%) of people want to spend more during Black Friday to support struggling retailers, compared with 30% do not (rising to 12% and 40% for Baby Boomers). 

Four in ten (43%) respondents think Black Friday and Cyber Monday have lost their appeal and 46% think it is mostly a marketing gimmick with deals that can be matched other times (only 17% disagree with this view).

The polling also revealed 2020’s most in-demand Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals:

  • Three in 10 (28%) say they intend to buy clothes, shoes and accessories in the sales, while 10% already have;
  • Books are on the wishlist of 22%, and 9% have already bought them;
  • Almost one in four (22%) plan on buying small or kitchen electricals, while 9% have already;
  • 21% plan on buying toys, while 10% already have;
  • One in five (20%) want to make use of Black Friday deals to buy Christmas decorations, and 10% already have;
  • 19% intend to buy a gaming console and 10% have. For Gen Z respondents, those figures rise to 37% and 21%; and 29% and 17% for Millenials. 

Commenting, Julian Dailly, EVP of Consumer Insights at Savanta, said: “This is an unprecedented year for retailers and consumers alike. So many businesses have been shuttered for so long – and consumers haven’t been able to treat themselves – that everyone is looking forward to the festive season with heightened anticipation.

“The good news is that it appears consumers have their wallets poised. How they plan to spend – mostly online rather than in person – has not changed. And their overall desire to treat themselves over the festive period is as reliable as ever. Indeed, our data shows many will spend more between now and the end of the year than in 2019. 

“The bad news is that many consumers seem not to see Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the moment to do so. Despite a clear appetite for certain consumer staples, from toys to the latest tech and gadgets, there is doubt about Black Friday’s value for money. And perhaps just as importantly, consumers don’t seem to think it is the best way to help out struggling small and medium businesses.

“For retailers, the success of this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday hinges on persuading consumers it’s still worth getting involved, as Black Friday’s wow factor has now started to wane.”