November 19, 2017

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Periscope upbeat on Black Friday potential in UK

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 18 October 2017

Brian Elliott, managing partner of Periscope By McKinsey
Brian Elliott, managing partner of Periscope By McKinsey

It could be a huge Black Friday for 2017, as 44% of US, and 81% of UK shoppers plan to go bargain hunting online and in stores, according to research from Periscope By McKinsey. Almost half of US consumers confirmed they will be shopping this Black Friday – compared to just 26% in 2016 and 23% who were undecided. The jump is much higher in the UK with an impressive 81% of stating they intend to shop this Black Friday – compared to just 22% who anticipated getting involved last year and 30% who were on the fence.

Asked to identify which product categories they plan to shop this Black Friday, consumer electronics topped the list for both US (58%) and UK (52%) shoppers.

Previous scepticism about Black Friday being a marketing trick also seems to be falling with 37% of UK shoppers and 25% in the US saying they’ve grown to like it more. The top motivating factor for shopping this Black Friday is getting enticing offers not available at other times of the year according to 37% of US shoppers, and 36% in the UK. This was followed by steep discounting which was 36% for the US, and 48% in the UK.

In recent years, Black Friday has been viewed as an increasingly digital shopping event. However, the 2017 research reveals that 36% (US) and 31% (UK) consumers are planning to conduct their Black Friday shopping activities both in-store and online. That’s a big jump from last year, when just 18% and 11% respectively said they would divide shopping activities between digital and physical channels.

Looking at online behaviour, the desktop computer remains the device most likely to be used when making Black Friday purchases at 35% (US) and 45% (UK), but is declining compared to 2016 when 60% and 54% planned to shop this way.

Shoppers are also planning to use smartphones more this year. Almost one-third of UK respondents (30%) and over a quarter of US (26%) plan to use them to make Black Friday purchases – up from 16.5% (UK) and 20.5% (US) last year.

Brian Elliott, managing partner of Periscope By McKinsey, said: “Consumer appetite for Black Friday in the US and UK has surged this year, with more planning to shop, in more categories, with more disposable budget. There is a clear opportunity for those retailers that understand how their customers shop in an omnichannel setting and therefore focus on creating shopping experiences that tie their online and physical channels together.”

“We know from the research that consumers have a shopping list and are researching online already now, that means they are giving you clues about what they want. Retailers that can use that information to create personalised promotions and offers, stand a much higher chance of securing sales, and making Black Friday 2017 their biggest ever,” he added.

Periscope By McKinsey is a suite of solutions focusing on price, promotion, assortment, sales and marketing optimisation that aims to achieve sustainable revenue growth.

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