Shopify (credit image/Pixabay/Steve Buissinne)The Shopify Black Friday Cyber Monday Report has revealed how consumers plan to buy differently this holiday season. The study included more than 2,000 consumers and 1,000 SMBs in the UK. It is part of a global research programme surveying 24,000 consumers and 9,000 businesses in 12 countries. The survey shows a shift away from “stack them high, sell them cheap” towards high-quality, durable products. It also highlights how customers want to stay connected to the brands they love. Even if they’re not currently in a position to buy.

Shoppers are looking for value

42% of UK consumers are cautious about spending. This is driven by the cost-of-living crisis, the recent interest rate rise by the Bank of England, and expectations of a protracted recession. As a result, 78% have reduced their disposable spending this holiday season – the third highest proportion globally. 49% are putting more money aside this year than they have done previously. This varies from 68% of Gen Z to just 30% of those aged over 65.

As considered consumers seek more bang for their buck:

  • 65% complete the majority of their holiday shopping during Black Friday Cyber Monday to get more value for money.
  • 39% are doing so to get ahead of further price increases as the expected recession starts to hit. This rises to 64% amongst Gen Z (18-24s)
  • Considered bargain hunting is key for 84% of consumers who plan to compare prices to find the best discounts.
  • Those with a household income of £35,000 and above are the most likely to be seeking the best possible value for money spent (at 87%).

But alongside consumers’ desire for value is quality. Shoppers want quality products built to last. 66% are looking to spend money on higher quality products that will last a long time. A further 35% are planning to spend on days out, such as to amusements or paid events.

(credit image/LinkedIn/Shimona Mehta)
Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, EMEA at Shopify

Shimona Mehta, Managing Director, EMEA at Shopify suggested, “The key sales season from Black Friday onwards will be pivotal for millions of businesses, this year more than ever. The focus for consumers is now on quality over quantity, for the right price. 49% of shoppers intend to spend the same or more than previous years and have saved up to do so. Businesses need to respond to this sentiment, offer deals for high quality products and give true value to their communities.”

Conscious consumers won’t compromise on sustainability

Despite the squeeze on household budgets, consumers aren’t budging on their sustainable values. 52% said they already shop sustainably – such as seeking out carbon-neutral shipping options. The same percentage say they’re planning on shopping from sustainable brands or buying sustainable products. This includes those with a ‘low or no waste’ approach to production – when shopping this Black Friday Cyber Monday.

UK businesses are rising to the challenge of meeting this demand.

  • Regardless of the impending expectation of a recession, 81% of UK businesses said sustainability efforts won’t be derailed by inflation. A rate 2% higher than the global average.
  • The majority (92%) are planning to invest in sustainable initiatives over the next twelve months. They are also mindful of their impact on the environment.

The good news is that there are options that give a boost to the bottom line whilst simultaneously bolstering environmentally friendly efforts. 62% of UK consumers are willing to wait longer for a product to arrive if it lowers its total footprint. 40% are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

The Great British High Street is now everywhere

The Great British High Street is now everywhere. Consumers want to stay in touch with the brands they love in-store, online and on social. UK consumers are open to new experiences and are willing to shop via online and social platforms more than ever. 91% of shoppers say they are just as likely or more likely to shop in an online store than a year ago. 88% are purchasing the same or more in-store. 72% are just as likely or more likely to discover new products to purchase when scrolling through social media than a year ago.

What’s more, they are receptive to direct contact from businesses.

  • 66% say it’s important that brands communicate with them about Black Friday Cyber Monday offers.
  • 72% (7% higher than the global average) are willing to buy a rival brand’s product to save money.
  • 42% would do so for a superior product.
  • 27% would like to access to potential exclusive discounts. This shows that regular communication is vital with British shoppers

Businesses are recognising this shift. 93% of businesses believe it’s paramount to build a direct relationship with customers. Nearly half (45%) in the UK say reaching consumers organically via word of mouth on social media is more important than ever, and a third (33%) are investing in improvements in and implementation of digital infrastructure to do more online sales to ensure future resilience.

As part of this research programme, Shopify will also produce dedicated reports on the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, sustainability and connecting with consumers across all channels (C2C).

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

The cost of living is having a massive impact on both the high street and digital superhighway. For brands and retailers, it means that getting the offer right has never been more important. Retailers have to explore new ways that customers can buy in a budget-friendly way, such as offering a subscription model basis, buy now pay later and also adding more support services. What is particularly interesting from the research is 62% of consumers won’t compromise on sustainability despite economic uncertainty. Furthermore, 40% are willing to pay more for sustainable products. The cost-of-living crisis, hopefully, will dissolve into the pages of history. All the research indicates that consumer attitudes to the environment and sustainability is here to stay. Brands and retailers will have to adjust every aspect of their business operations to supporting it.

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  1. Having recently launched our sustainable marketplace, we’ve taken the decision not to take part in Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Our aim to help our customers save money, earn rewards and hopefully do their bit for the planet! I need for me personally it was a mindset shift from the years part in searching around to find the best deal for a product I didn’t really need!

    Taking this approach at Greenmarket may been less sales and revenue but it also means less waste in the world. So we’re good with it!


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