Brits set to spend £200bn on Black Friday and Christmas, research shows

Future plc, the global platform for specialist media, has today released findings on predicted consumer shopping trends and expenditure for Black Friday and Christmas 2021, which follows its post-lockdown purchasing analysis in March 2021. The research reveals 82% of Brits will be the same or more engaged in Black Friday this year and 55% will make Christmas the biggest celebration yet, representing a significant opportunity for brands and advertisers. 

The research, based on a survey in June 2021 of 2,000 UK respondents – all recruited independently via Future plc’s research platform The Lens – included more than 30 in-depth questions about Black Friday and Christmas planning, budgets, gifting, shopping and preparing. The sample is nationally representative for the UK, with percentage split ensured for gender, geography, age and social class. Of this sample, 54% of respondents are Future readers. 

Looking at Future readers specifically, the analysis reveals over half of respondents (54%) will make their Black Friday purchases online this year, with online marketplaces, brand websites and online independent stores taking the top three positions for shoppers’ confidence, and 42% will use Black Friday shopping as their main source for this year’s Christmas gifts. The survey reveals two in five of the UK population don’t yet know what tech products they’d look for during Black Friday, but that number goes down to only one in five when looking at Future’s audience, with many of them having already started planning what equipment they will be purchasing in November, showing this is a crucial time for advertisers looking to reach high-intent audiences. 

One in four are expecting their Christmas and/or Black Friday budgets to increase this year, with over 70% having the same amount or more money to spend on Black Friday and 78% for Christmas, compared to 2020. The UK population has nearly £200bn (£198bn) in lockdown savings and 82% of Future readers will spend this partially or fully on Christmas or Black Friday shopping, with 63% planning to complete DIY, painting, or re-decorating ahead of Christmas in their homes this year. 

When it comes to shopping decisions, the average research time for the UK population is 5.7 weeks before Christmas (around mid-November) and 4.8 weeks before Black Friday (in mid-October). Nearly half (48%) of Future’s audience looks forward to Christmas all year round, so they’re likely to start their preparations and research earlier than the average UK consumer; according to the findings, 16% of Future’s consumers have started or will start buying presents soon. Future has a passionate intent-driven audience who seek out trusted advice and expertise across its range of brands, with nearly all (99%) of its readers having at least one passion and nearly three-quarters (74%) wanting to receive a Christmas gift related to these interests. 

“Future has studied and tracked the impacts on consumer behaviour over the past 18 months to react quickly to changing demands. With Future readers accounting for approximately £101 billion of the estimated £198 billion saved by UK consumers, our already proven content commerce model puts us in a prime position to deliver significant value for advertisers this holiday season. Over half of consumers (55%) say they will make Christmas the biggest celebration yet and a huge majority (82%) are expected to put their savings towards Black Friday and Christmas. As consumers begin to plan their purchasing decisions, it is imperative for advertisers to get ahead by starting their planning now and engaging with their audiences,” said Zack Sullivan, Chief Revenue Officer, UK at Future plc.