Black Friday: two thirds of UK shoppers to spend as much or more than 2022

Good news for small businesses and high streets. A recent survey reveals that consumers are saving now so that they can spend more as the holiday season begins.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend is set to be another success for SMEs this year, with 66% of UK shoppers saying they plan to spend the same or more than they did in 2022 – welcome news for small businesses who have had a challenging year.

The new research by Shopify found that 74% of UK consumers have reduced their discretionary spending in recent months but plan to spend it this festive season, with over half (53%) putting aside more money each month than they have in previous years for BFCM.

Browsing in a shop still has an important role to play for consumers looking to discover new products, and is a close second behind browsing online at 33% and 39% respectively. 

Of UK merchants, 76% said that physical shops are as or more important than last year – up from 68% in 2022. 

The report also found that more shoppers are open to making purchases through social media platforms. Nearly one in three UK consumers (32%) are willing to purchase products directly on Facebook – a key point of interest for the 80% of UK merchants who said selling via social media had the same level or more importance than a year ago.

Shopify’s Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023 Report spoke to more than 2,000 consumers and 1,000 SMEs in the UK, and is part of a global research study surveying 12,000 consumers and almost 5,000 businesses in six countries.

“Despite many studies predicting a challenging period for retailers as consumers look to tighten their purse strings, our data indicates that this could be a key revenue moment for those that embrace BFCM,” says Deann Evans, managing director, EMEA at Shopify. 

“Brands need to embrace this opportunity by offering competitive deals and higher quality products as if they don’t, consumers may move away to another.”

Technology’s impact

The report also shed light on the changing impact of technology on shopping habits. 

Respondents flagged use of AI as a way to find better offers and more targeted deals.

68% of UK shoppers said AI makes it easier to discover new brands and products, or to find out more information about the products they are buying.

Self-service checkouts were flagged as the most popular technology for UK consumers (53%), followed by real-time order tracking (38%) and mobile (44%). 

In addition, 38% of shoppers said they use technology to get the best value for money, 34% to make the experience more convenient, and 26% to make more informed decisions.

UK consumers also noted the role of embedded technology on their shopping experience, with 40% saying they are more likely to buy from and/or spend more money with brands that actively embed technology into the shopping experience – and a further 20% said they are more inclined to be loyal to those brands too.

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Kirstie Pickering - business journalist

Kirstie is a freelance journalist writing in the tech, startup and business spaces for publications including Sifted, TNW, UKTN, The Business Magazine and Maddyness UK. She also works closely with agencies such as CEW Communications to develop content for their startup and scaleup clients.

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