Black Friday’s staying power is driven by Britons’ bargain-hunting

Love it or loathe it, Black Friday looks set to stay as research by Hammerson, the UK’s leading owner and curator of flagship retail destinations including Bullring, Birmingham, and Brent Cross, London, reveals the nation’s commitment to bagging a bargain is supporting its enduring appeal both in-store and online.

The research finds that 40% of the nation are self-confessed ‘Bargain Shoppers’ – always looking for the best deal and seeking out offers with the ‘Researcher’ taking the second spot, as 18% of shoppers spend time exploring different products and reviews before buying.

Most consumers now wait for promotional sales

Most consumers delay purchases until promotional events; in the dominant Bargain-Shoppers group, a vast 88% say they tend to wait for the best deal before buying. Reflecting this promotional mind-set, bargains play a key role in shaping consumers’ shopping experiences; getting ‘a great bargain’ (46%) is the highest cited factor behind consumers’ most enjoyable shopping trips.

And most won’t admit to regretting a purchase

Despite sector concerns regarding returned goods following flash deals, UK shoppers are far more likely to regret a missed purchase (52%) than a purchase they’ve made (36%).

While price is important, customers favour experiential retail

If people only had to shop one way, 66% of the UK’s shoppers (and 69% of ‘bargain shoppers’) say they would choose physical stores over online. This is supported by the finding that almost three quarters (72%) of people’s most enjoyable shopping experiences have been in physical stores; 49% of those at a shopping centre, and 42% on a high street.

When shopping, only 23% of consumers say that they typically ‘just shop’, as most incorporate additional activities such as dining, drinking, or visiting the cinema, indicating that retailers’ product pricing is only one element in delivering a compelling experience.

Retail categories will likely fare differently across online and physical shops

Not all retail is equal, and shoppers rely on physical shops for certain product categories far more than others. 76% of people prefer to buy Health & Beauty products in-store, and 66% favour physical stores for shopping the latest fashions. With touch and feel a major draw for footfall, 72% prefer to purchase footwear in person. Approximately half also favour bricks and mortar shopping for Electricals (49%) and Books, News and Stationery (55%).

 Mark Bourgeois, Managing Director UK & Ireland, said: “2018 has seen significant discounting across much of the sector, and the importance that today’s consumers place on getting a good deal is evident; however, pricing is clearly only one aspect of a compelling retail offer, and this is reflected in many retailers focusing more acutely on experiential retail.

“The initial Black Friday one-day frenzy, which has put off many people in the past couple of years, has evolved, and many retailers are now either spreading promotions out over several days, or taking a more responsive and selected approach to their offers. It is clear that Black Friday now signals the start of the festive shopping season for many.

“While many consumers will scroll through deals online in the coming days, the draw of the store is strong. We expect to see an uplift in click and collect usage as a result of Black Friday activity, which we know will drive additional sales for our retailers.”

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