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Has Black Friday peaked or is it still going strong?

Jacob Kvetny

Black Friday as a shopping concept was imported from the US a few years back and now seems to be a firm fixture in the UK retail calendar. According to a Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) study, last year more than three quarters of retailers participated in some promotional activity over Black Friday weekend.

So, will Black Friday continue to grow, or has it already peaked?

  • Half of Brits claim not to be interested in Black Friday, however, 17% intended to buy something over the weekend in 2018, and a further 27% are open to persuasion if the deal is good enough
  • Brits on average planned to spend £220 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year, down from £304 last year
  • The total amount spent is likely to have increased from £4.5 billion in 2017 to £7 billion in 2018
  • More than three in five under 45 year olds are interested, whereas three quarters of over 55 year olds either state that they are not interested or are avoiding the event altogether
  • Northern Ireland and London are the top regional hotspot
  • Electrical products have historically been the most sought-after products, but this year clothing is estimated to have increased
  • Only a quarter of all Black Friday spending was expected to take place in physical stores with online shopping now overtaking

All Response Media viewpoint
There is still a lot of interest around Black Friday deals from UK shoppers. From an advertising point of view, we do however see that the cost of buying media can increase with more advertisers wanting to promote their products. The increase in advertisers can inflate the cost of buying digital media, which in most cases is bought on an auction basis with the likes of Google dominating the space. Even though there is increased competition with many advertisers promoting deals, there is also an opportunity to leverage the interest around Black Friday for brands. Google has just released their internal Black Friday stats and even though the year on year (YoY) growth is not a big as the past two years, Black Friday growth for retail categories was still up by 6% overall.

Google also compare the cost per clicks (CPCs), which determine how much you pay to drive people to your website and they saw that CPCs decreased slightly, which represents an opportunity for brands to enter the auctions cheaper and generate sales at a lower price. Interestingly, Google also released stats showing that Cyber Monday queries are up 24% YoY, showing that the Cyber Monday concept is growing. There is, therefore, an opportunity to leverage the interest around both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While official stats have yet to be released in terms of actual sales and overall spend in the UK, it seems like spending is increasing YoY as predicted. Looking at All Response Media retail clients alone, we also saw a 34% increase in traffic on Black Friday compared to average Friday traffic, indicating an increased interest from consumers. So regardless if you are into Black Friday deals or not, it looks like the trend is here to stay and is continuing to grow.

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