Determined shoppers will again pound the pavements to secure their pre-Christmas bargains. For those considering taking up the challenge, we’ve gone through our consumer data based on 3,000 shoppers last year – the largest in the UK – to find some helpful tactics to get through the day.
Last year, Black Friday failed to deliver for many online shoppers, both figuratively and literally. With chaos on the roads and hundreds of deliveries arriving late, retailers found themselves in the midst of a logistical nightmare.
And while stores were full of students, pensioners, part-time workers and even some who had taken the day off, Black Friday was out of bounds to many who had to work. In fact, the number of “affluent” shoppers was actually down 11 per cent on an average Christmas shopping trip.
As such, this year, a number of retailers are upping their click and collect offer, which is great news for shoppers who can’t make it in on the day.
For retailers, making click and collect a viable online option has been crucial, and there has been a real effort to make this option as appealing to shoppers as possible. Shoppers should look out for special click and collect offers and online deals.
While online is expected to be a key part of this year’s Black Friday, for anyone planning to go along in person, beating the crowds completely will be difficult as there’s likely to be barrage of bargain hunters at whatever time of day a trip is made.
For the keener shoppers, joining the queues before the shops open at 9am may mean you are more likely to snag the most ‘in demand’ bargains. However, last year saw shoppers spend on average 92 minutes on their shopping trips, so patience will be key.
Those patterns are unlikely to change dramatically, so canny shoppers could plan their trips accordingly and prepare for a long haul. That includes arriving at the shopping centre with a full stomach.
A third of shoppers last year ate at the shopping centres they visited, so if you haven't filled up ahead of your bargain-hunting, prepare for long queues not just in stores, but also in cafés and restaurants.
Getting from A to B on a busy shopping day is difficult enough in popular shopping areas, so on Black Friday shoppers should plan for which shops they want to visit and in what order. By looking up floor plans for shopping centres and planning a route, they will avoid spending more time than necessary battling through crowded streets and walkways.
On Black Friday, the average shopper visits three stores and makes a purchase in two of them. Do your homework in advance and identify a list of key items you wish to purchase from only two stores and stick to that.
As Black Friday doesn’t fall on a payday this year, and with Christmas right around the corner, shoppers have to be careful not to fall into the red – but rather stay in the black.
All predictions aside, 27 November is sure to be a shopping day unlike any other. Retailers have been gearing up for this day for months, and have learned tough lessons from the failings of 2014.
Determined shoppers meanwhile will turn out in droves, and a little bit of homework to inch ahead of the game could mean the difference between a bleak or a blissful Black Friday.
You can find all the latest deals, news and opinion on Black Friday here, including Amazon UK, Currys PC World and Ebay. But don't expect to find Asda among them this year, the supermarket has set a precedent and pulled out of the sales bonanza