This year's Black Friday (24 November) is looking like it will once again be a bumper shopping day for online retailers, with 40 per cent of Brits saying they will shop online in order to avoid queues and hassle.
According to research from price and product comparison service PriceSpy, the popularity of the event, which first developed in the United States, is not slowing in the UK, with 25 per cent of British shoppers planning on buying at least one item, and 16 per cent planning to buy several.
There are significant demographic differences when it comes to enthusiasm for the shopping event, with young people much more likely to purchase items. 62 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds and 61 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds are planning purchases on Black Friday, compared to just 33 per cent of those aged 45 to 54 per cent, and just a tenth of those 65 and over. Women are also more likely to be shopping on Black Friday (43 per cent compared to 36 per cent) and more likely to be buying presents for others (47 per cent versus 27 per cent of men).
There are also geographic differences, with Black Friday shopping more popular among Londoners, 54 per cent of whom will be hitting stores or websites, compared to those in the North East (47 per cent) or the West Midlands (46 per cent).
"As Black Friday continues to mature in the UK, it's very interesting to see generational differences emerging," said Olof Karp, country manager for UK & Ireland at PriceSpy. "Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of those aged 65 years old and over have never shopped on Black Friday and it is evident that it's the younger consumers in the UK keeping the US tradition alive over here."
An estimated 70 per cent of Black Friday shopping is set to be online this year, with mobile making up a greater share than ever before as more consumers embrace the convenience and ease of shopping via smartphones. However, given increasing traffic, online retailers need to make sure their apps and mobile sites are up to scratch, or risk outages like those that have plagued several big brands in previous years.
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