The rising cost of living and declining consumer spending in key categories are not going to dampen Australians’ enthusiasm for Black Friday, with people expected to spend up big during this sales season according to new research from strategic insights consultancy Nature.
More than 10 million Australians will reach for their credit cards and wallets in the upcoming Black Friday sales on 24 November, up 14 per cent from last year.
In 2022, Australians spent $7.1 billion across the Black Friday shopping event. This year, spending is expected to provide a boost to retail volumes which have fallen for the third straight quarter – the first time since the GFC.
Black Friday is quicky moving ahead of Boxing Day on Australians’ shopping lists with anticipated spend during the former set to be 20 per cent higher than the latter. Nature’s research found people are planning to spend an average of $440 during Black Friday this year, compared with the average of $380 they’re likely to spend during the Boxing Day sales this year.
More than 70 per cent of the people surveyed described Black Friday as “modern” and two-thirds of people plan to make their purchases online. It is most popular among Generation Z consumers, 77 per cent of whom plan to make at least one purchase during Black Friday and their anticipated spend is 15 per cent higher than among other generations, despite generally lower incomes.
Nature senior consultant, Andrew Zylstra, said: “Despite rising rates, rent and inflation, our research paints a different mindset when it comes to the anticipated spending for Black Friday – it’s back with a bang this year.
“Black Friday has become a spending beacon for consumers, who are deferring their expenses to cash in at sale time. It’s also bringing forward Christmas, with 37 per cent of people saying they plan to get a good deal and beat the rush for Christmas during Black Friday. But it isn’t all pre-planned: 44 per cent of people will decide their purchases on Black Friday itself.
“Given how muted current retail sales are, this upcoming Black Friday event is unmissable for retailers – both online and in-store. Online sales will drive purchase behaviour and digital channels are necessary pre-purchase touchpoints for consumers when they are researching what to buy,” he said.
Nature found that more than two-thirds of Black Friday spending will be in three categories: clothing, shoes and beauty (30 per cent); electronics, tech and entertainment (21 per cent); and furniture and home lifestyle (17 per cent).
Nature head of strategy, Aliya Hasan, said: “For retailers, winning at Black Friday is now more important than ever and our research has uncovered a number of key steps to success.
“Beyond cost savings, free shipping and returns are major conversion drivers for consumers. Given the appeal of Black Friday to younger shoppers, personalisation – think text, social media and search marketing – cannot be underestimated. It is critical that brands have up-to-date UX and website accessibility; consumers will spend quite a bit of time researching and purchasing online and if the experience is not fast and seamless, they will go elsewhere.
“While we’re living through a period of enormous economic uncertainty, there’s one things retailers and brands can bank on: people will be spending big at Black Friday, so they should get ready,” she said.
Nature’s research was conducted in August 2023 and covered 1,000 people across Australia. The survey was representative of the national population.
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