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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 04, 2016

'Chaotic' Black Friday drives shoppers online

As Amazon prepares its 'Countdown to Black Friday' promotion, research conducted across the U.K. and U.S. reveals decreased consumer interest and participation in what is usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

by Helen Leggatt

According to new research from Periscope by McKinsey, Black Friday may find itself increasingly competing with Amazon Prime Days. Nine percent of U.S. and 7% of U.K. shoppers said that Amazon's global shopping event is of more interest to them than Black Friday.

In fact, the research found that interest and participation in Black Friday shopping is waning in both countries. In the U.S. 31% of those surveyed said they have always disliked shopping on Black Friday and 29% thought it was just a marketing gimmick. Forty-two percent of respondents in the U.K. also believed Black Friday to be a marketing trick and that retailers manipulated pricing to lead people to believe they are getting a good deal.

Overall, more than half (51%) of U.S. respondents and 48% of U.K. respondents said they had no plans to shop on Black Friday this year. Of those that will make a purchase, many will do so online as stores were considered "too chaotic". Nearly two in five (39%) of U.S. and 42% of U.K. respondents said they plan to do the majority, or all, their Black Friday shopping online - an increase from last year.

"The research highlights that consumers consider the Black Friday experience stressful and inconvenient compared to shopping online," said Channie Mize, global general manager for retail at Periscope. "The physical store is not dead, but struggling. Retailers need to find new attractive ways to draw consumers into their stores, using data-driven insights to inform the buying, assortment and promotional activities to maximum effect across all channels, giving customers the great experience they crave."

Meanwhile, Amazon has already launched into Black Friday mode with an announcement made on 1 November that they have officially launched its Black Friday sales site. Some commentators have exclaimed that Amazon has, effectively, killed Black Friday as their deals will last through until 22 December (52 days in total). However, their mega-deals won't be available until the week of Black Friday.

Tags: Black Friday, ecommerce, holiday 2016 shopping trends, trends

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