Festive shopping extends over very long period, new research

Festive shopping extends over very long period, new research

Whilst Black Friday is often seen as the start of the festive shopping season, the majority of Brits are in fact already up and running with their Christmas splurgefests. That’s according to research by Toluna and IMRG, involving 1,000 UK shoppers.

62% prefer to get going earlier than 24th November, when just 1% will kick into gear. With inflation putting pressure on household spending, many respondents seem keen to spread the cost of Christmas shopping, with 31% indicating that they would start before November, 16% in early November and 15% mid-November. 59% usually or sometimes wait for discounts before buying products. For 26% it depends on what they are buying as to whether they wait for discounts. For 7%, discounts don’t make a difference and they just buy what they want, when they want it and 7% always wait for discounts before purchasing. When questioned on why they would pay full price for a product, quality comes out top (40%). Close behind it is if the shopper really wants it, on 37%, with a tight deadline coming in third on 13%.

When it comes to more expensive items, there is less appetite for paying full price compared with last year. In 2016, 39% of people reported having paid full price for a product which cost more than £100 in the past year, but in 2017 this dropped to 13%. Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director of IMRG, says: “Black Friday is probably the most important date in the retail calendar when volumes reach an annual high but, as this survey suggests, the Christmas shopping period still extends over a very long period. This is because different people approach shopping in different ways; retailers report that searches for ‘Christmas’ start to rise as early as July each year, while other people might only start thinking about it the week of Christmas itself. The opportunity is to identify these different segments and develop targeting strategies for each over that period as appropriate."

For an event that has proven so divisive in the past, sentiment toward Black Friday hardly changed this year - with 33% saying they love or like it, up from 31.5% in 2016, and 25% saying they hate or dislike it, up from 24.5%. The remainder, 42%, had no strong feelings either way, up from 44% in 2016.”

66% of respondents said that whether a brand participates in sales like this does not impact on how they see the brand. 26% respects the brand for not taking part, with 7% responding that they wouldn’t shop somewhere that doesn’t participate. In terms of where the best deals are found, the High Street has increased its share from 9% in 2016 to 13% in 2017. The number who think here is no difference between online and the High Street has increased from 34% in 2016 to 37% in 2017. And while in 2016, 56% thought online had the edge, this dropped to 50% in 2017.

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