There was once a time when Black Friday was just an American tradition – but interest has been rising year on year in the UK since 2012. Google Trends data shows that Black Friday certainly hasn’t already had its heyday, but it appears that trends in Black Friday buying behaviour are changing.
Delving deeper into the buying behaviour of consumers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we carried out Vox Pop interviews in Southampton City Centre, to find out what people really think about these highly-publicised annual events.
Our Head of Market Research, Ben, has summarised his findings below.
We found that people either loved or hated Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You could see the genuine excitement in some people’s reactions – and in contrast, many of the people we spoke to thought it was more of a gimmick and wanted to avoid the ‘chaos’.
A more surprising theme was that a lot of shoppers had not even heard of the Black Friday event or aware it was taking place the coming Friday. Cyber Monday was even less well known than Black Friday – over half the people we spoke to had never heard of it.
Although Cyber Monday was not as well known as Black Friday, our interviewees preferred the idea of doing their sales shopping online on the Monday, rather than tackling crowds in stores on Black Friday. Perhaps unsurprisingly, online shopping was more appealing to people than hitting the shops and many of the people we interviewed prefer to do all of their shopping online.
We interviewed one person who was in United States during Thanksgiving last year. They told us the event was bigger and better in the States, and that American shoppers get a lot more excited about it.
Only one person had heard of International Buy Nothing Day – the day that turns its nose up to frenzied bargain-hunting. This day sits right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, falling on Saturday the 25th this year.
Christmas sales shopping was more popular than Black Friday. The general consensus was that sales over the festive period feel more natural and less of a gimmick. John Lewis, Debenhams and Next were mentioned as the most popular sales shopping destinations for sales.
For the people planning to shop on Black Friday, video games and electricals were by far the most popular items. The general opinion was that TVs and video games carried the biggest discounts, whilst there were not as many ‘bargains’ to be had with clothes.
Game and John Lewis were the most likely destinations for shoppers heading out on Black Friday, and Amazon was the most popular website for people planning to do their shopping online.
A selection of the comments and feedback we received:
“Definitely storing up a few presents to buy on Black Friday. All Christmas gifts and all online”
“Will be getting most of the stuff for myself rather than friends! I’m looking forward to Cyber Monday more because prefer to shop online”
“Try my best to avoid Black Friday weekend… find the chaos a bit too much”
“I would lean more towards Cyber Monday because I can do it online and don’t have to deal with the masses. If people can avoid the chaos they probably will – the last thing we want to do is end up like America!”
“Wow is it next week? I’m really surprised about that. It’s a bit too crazy for me”
“Not heading out, will be doing it online. Amazon, Game and Curry’s for games and a new TV”
“It can be a bit hectic but an ideal time for consumers to get a good deal before Christmas”
“I’m buzzing for Black Friday, only just found out about it!”
“Not looking forward to it – it’s only a bargain if you need it”
“I don’t believe there is any better deal than shops don’t do most days of the week. Just another way to make money… It suits the retailer better than the customer I would think.”
“I don’t care about Black Friday… prefer to do Christmas sales shopping with my daughter”
“I was in America last year, it is much bigger and better over there”
“It’s good if you are looking for something in particular… a big purchase or a television”
“Aware of it because all over Facebook. Another form of getting you to spend money, not a fan of it”
“Electronics is always good on Black Friday because you get really good savings. Not so good for other things like clothes. It’s on a Friday so I will be at work and it will be difficult.”
“It’s good for electricals and high-end purchases. I’m heading to Apple for a new MacBook!”
“If you can’t get it in store then I will go online”
“Cyber Monday would probably be the one for me because it’s online”
So, which day will be your bargain shopping day – Black Friday, Cyber Monday or neither?
Our market research found that a lot of people in #Southampton haven’t even heard of #BlackFriday or #CyberMonday.https://t.co/38ZBf7bbFu@GAMEdigital and @johnlewisretail should expect the most Black Friday shoppers this year. Which day will you be deal hunting?
— Rooster Marketing (@Roostermktg) November 22, 2017
You’ve seen our qualitative data relating to Black Friday, but we’ve also covered the top trends, tips and statistics in our Black Friday UK 2017 Infographic.
The objective of the exercise was to investigate people’s thoughts about the sales shopping in Southampton, in particular, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We opened the interviews by asking people if they were aware of Black Friday/Cyber Monday and their thoughts surrounding it. We would then probe for further detail depending on their answers. We also asked people general questions about their thoughts on sales shopping in Southampton.
Respondents were selected randomly to include a mixture of demographics. Most interviews took place outside of West Quay Shopping Centre, around the Christmas Market stalls and surrounding the ice rink at West Quay 2.
If you would like to see all of the data from our Black Friday attitudes and opinions study or would be interested in finding out about how Rooster Marketing can aid your business strategy with market research, including consumer insights, please get in touch on 01962 841 200 or email us at [email protected].