IT40 Places & Things in the Media for 12/26/2018


#1 Boxing Day • Christmas Day • Cyber Monday • Black Friday

Daisy Allen

Boxing Day dip... what a fab way to end 2018 ??



Are Black Friday deals better than Christmas and Boxing Day sales?


Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas shopping season, but 31pc of UK shoppers think the deals are no better than other sales throughout the year,  new research has suggested.

A survey by market research consultancy Future Thinking also found that 50pc of consumers think the deals "aren’t particularly good and it seems to be more of a marketing gimmick."

As last-minute Christmas shoppers saw prices of some of last year's most popular gifts tumble after Black Friday 2015, just 19pc of the 1,300 people surveyed believed the event was a great way to get the best deals.

Despite the hype around bargains offered in the November sales bonanza last year, shoppers were seemingly put off high streets by frenzied scenes of crowds fighting over bargains in 2014, with a 4pc drop in footfall.

Why is there no chaos in the shops this Black Friday?
The number of shoppers on the high street was 5pc lower than December 2014, according to analysts Springboard — the largest pre-Christmas fall on record.

New data from advertising firm The Rubicon Project estimated the average spend for Christmas this year will be £748 per person, a slight increase on 2015. Millennials and parents remain cheerful with 41pc and 32pc respectively saying they plan to increase their spending this Christmas.​

Last year, three-quarters of Britons ranked price as the most important factor in gift purchases and many will be hunting around online for the best deals. Those aged 25-29 are the most likely group to shop during Black Friday week, according to a poll of 3,458 consumers in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand by analytics software firm SAS.

Are the Boxing Day and January sales better?

According to 2015 data collected from hundreds of retailers by sales aggregating website Love the Sales, retailers typically have 10-15pc of stock on sale all year round.

In fact, the data shows that in terms of the number of products priced at a discount, Black Friday is actually below average. The peak "sales day" actually fell in early July, where 380,000 items were discounted.

The data puts paid to the myth that after the January sales you’ll be out of luck, as the number of products at sale price remains high well into February.

"Deals are almost always better in the Boxing Day sales, what you tend to get in the January sales is discounts climbing up to 75pc for the stuff that hasn’t gone," Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, says. "Mass items that go on sale in January will be much cheaper than in the Black Friday pre-Christmas sales but there will be less of a range.

“Know what you need, because retailers are trying to get you to buy something you don’t want, do your research and look out for voucher codes so you can pounce when it is ready."

The best bargains in televisions and electronics are to be found after the sales so an 'I owe you' to friends and family might be more frugal, Mr Lewis adds.

So is there much point in Black Friday sales?

Yes, if you're looking for Christmas presents, says Patrick O’Brien at content director at Verdict Retail.

"It is a retailer driven event," he adds. "Many retailers find they have to take part anyway to compete. Bringing sales forward means companies could have made bigger margins on the product but if other retailers are all doing those promotions, you risk missing out."

But do I have to physically go to the shop for the best deal?

Recent research from software company PCA Predict, who power payments for more than 40pc of the UK's top 500 retailers, found there was a 279pc increase in e-commerce on Black Friday 2015, compared to a normal day. They predict up to 25pc more people will take their shopping online this year.

Chief operating officer, Chris Harle, says: "The phenomenon has started to gain further online traction as consumers can readily search for bargains over a cross section of retailers in a matter of minutes rather than getting stuck in queues in physical bricks and mortar retail stores.

"Black Friday is very much on consumers’ own terms — they shop when they want, where they want, on the channel that is most convenient to them."

"I don’t think Black Friday is as popular as it was," Aaron Shields, executive strategy director for at retail consultants FITCH, says. "It is continuing in growth and attracting revenues but it is becoming more and more the domain of discounters online. Consumers are adapting behaviour so it doesn't become tiresome — people don’t want the faff of going into a shop."

Is Christmas shopping over after Black Friday?

No, the period is simply longer, Mike Shapaker, managing director of e-commerce service ChannelAdvisor, says.

“Nowadays shoppers are more inclined to fill their baskets from the comfort on their own livings rooms rather than brave the shops," he adds. "The event has also pushed forward the beginning of the festive season, encouraging consumers to fill their stockings earlier than ever before, with retailers extending promotions over a full week or weekend."

Can we expect anything new this year?

"There is still a demand for Black Friday, but it has been morphing over the past couple of years," Mr Lewis, of Money Saving Expert, adds. "I predict seeing less and less of the American-style single product discounts which are the ones which cause a ruckus in stores.

"We will see more codes and vouchers for Black Friday so, if you are going to be buying before Christmas, then looking for these deals is the way to go. Unfortunately, it will still be hell in the stores."


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