Shoppers are expected to be out in force over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, presenting significant opportunities for retailers and brands to win their share of shoppers wallets. Irish shoppers on average are expected to spend €251 over the weekend with this being a mixture of planned and impulse purchases. Online will be a key shopping platform but the store remains critical; value for money and getting a bargain are front and centre for the savvy Irish consumer.
Retailers need to understand how consumers research and shop over the Black Friday weekend whilst also being prepared for high levels of customer footfall. These are some of the key findings from the PwC Ireland Black Friday Consumer Insight survey undertaking by Opinium Research on behalf of PwC to explore the nature and spending intentions of Irish consumers over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period, published today.
A third of Irish consumers will purchase over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, another half are interested
A third (33%) of survey respondents revealed that they intend to purchase over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend; a further 47% stated that they may purchase if they see a good deal. This group of potential shoppers provide real potential for retailers to engage with them in a positive manner and the opportunity to build long term relationships. Nearly a fifth (17%) of those who are planning to spend the same or more than they did last year said that they intend to use the Black Friday shopping period to cut down on the costs of Christmas. According to the survey, one in six (16%) shoppers are thinking about Black Friday purchasing since mid-October.
70% will purchase for family (majority female at 75% vs 64% for men) while 68% will purchase for themselves (majority male at 75% vs 62% for women); younger (18-34) shoppers will likely make purchases for themselves (77%). One fifth (19%) have no interest in Black Friday spending.
€251 is the average spend per consumer
The research further reveals that, on average, the Irish shopper will spend €251 over the Black Friday weekend which is broadly in line with other European respondents. Younger shoppers aged 18-34 will spend less (€218) while the 35-54 age group’s spend will be the highest (€281). Products in most demand are electricals and technology (55%) and clothing, footwear and accessories (38%). Male shoppers will spend the most on electricals and technology (68%); while almost half (47%) of younger shoppers (18-34 year olds) will spend the most on clothing, footwear and accessories.
Shoppers range from the super researched to the accidental shopper
Our research highlights that Black Friday shoppers display very different behaviours ranging from those who undertake all their research in advance through to the impulse and accidental shoppers who are much more open to being influenced by the retailer as they browse in-store.
21% of shoppers will strategically search for the exact brand and product that they wish to purchase and will wait for a good deal before they purchase. This pre-purchase research is often facilitated by Online content such as store or brand websites and social media content.
However, not all shoppers have completed their research in advance with 32% prepared to spend ‘on impulse’ if a good deal presents itself. Retail stores, in particular, need to maximise this impulse opportunity. While a deal is essential, excellent customer experience is equally important. According to the survey, the key factors influencing a positive retail experience include: range of goods (36%) quality (32%), easy to find and clearly communicated deals (30%) and product availability (29%).
John Dillon, Leader, PwC Ireland Retail and Consumer Practice said,
“With eight out of ten respondents interested in shopping over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, it is likely to be an intense shopping period which from the early Black Friday ads and deals, it is clear that the event has already started. Bagging a good deal is front of mind for shoppers but consumers purchasing decisions will also move beyond price with quality, product range and availability being key fundamentals in building trust between shoppers and retailers”.
“Understanding shopping behaviour is key to winning the sale. With advance research now a key element of everyday shopping, retailers need to be prepared to engage with these customers online, on social networks and in store. It’s not all about online though, with shoppers still wanting to visit stores, clear deal communication, stock availability and well-informed store associates can make the difference to creating a superb shopping experience and ultimately winning or losing the sale.”
Significant buying ahead for Christmas, with online dominating how we spend
A third (36%) of those intending to buy in the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales are planning to buy up to a quarter of their Christmas gifts during the Black Friday weekend. Over a quarter (28%) are planning on buying up to a half of their Christmas gifts. Family shoppers, in particular, intend to take advantage of Black Friday deals. The research also confirms that online shopping is very popular over this weekend with 62% of Irish Black Friday spend expected to be online with 38% in-store. Whilst the level of Online spend is very high, it has to be recognised that Ireland still lags behind the UK where Online penetration over this weekend has been estimated at 76%.
Owen McFeely, Director, PwC Ireland Retail and Consumer Practice said, The survey highlights that expected high shopper numbers over the coming Black Friday weekend create opportunities to engage with consumers during this key Christmas trading period. Whilst Online is a real influencer this Black Friday, stores remain critical to shoppers who are seeking out both value and quality. Winning both the store and online sale is critical but with a significant proportion of online sales going overseas, locally-based businesses must adapt accordingly to win the Irish consumer. They must build fully integrated online capabilities allowing shoppers to engage on a pure online basis only or a combination of online and the store.”
Product availability greatest shopping turn-off
Consumers are clear about what frustrates them. Over a third (35%) stated that stock availability is their greatest issue; busy stores (27%); website performance (25%); and difficulty finding an item (17%) are other turn-offs. An emerging issue is that 16% are not confident that they will get a genuine deal if they make a purchase. 15% say that there is too much advertising in the lead up to Black Friday.
Owen McFeely concluded,
“Building trust with customers is critical over the Black Friday period. Those retailers who succeed are more likely to be rewarded with long-term customer loyalty. Rather than viewing Black Friday as a standalone event in the shopping calendar, the role it plays in wider consumer engagement needs to be addressed if long-term value is to be realised.”