Black Friday consumer survey

Consumers Want Black Friday 2021 to Be Greener

Electronics and Clothes On Course to Dominate Black Friday Purchases, With UK Customers Set to Outspend US

  • 90% Of Consumers Surveyed Around the World Are Now Familiar With Black Friday; More than Half Plan to Shop This Year
  • Shopping Appetite Is Returning, with Australian and US Customers Expected to Increase Spending Most Over Last Year
  • Consumers Want Black Friday to Turn Greener, Sustainability Is Now a Factor for More Than 40% Of Consumers

BOSTON—Boston Consulting Group (BCG) today published the results of a major Black Friday consumer survey looking at the spending plans of consumers in seven key global markets (Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US).

The study found that Black Friday is now firmly established around the world as a shopping milestone day, with more than 90% of consumers aware of Black Friday (with awareness highest in the US, Italy, and Spain) and more than half planning to use the time to shop. A third of consumers surveyed are currently unaware of Cyber Monday.

Consumers Want Black Friday to Turn Greener

The survey found consumers are placing increasing emphasis on sustainability as they make Black Friday purchasing decisions. Sustainable packaging options now influence 43% of consumers, with younger consumers more concerned about this issue than their older counterparts. Italian customers placed the greatest emphasis on green credentials for Black Friday shopping, and US consumers the least.

BCG’s research also found that many consumers plan to increase their spending this Black Friday, with Australian and US consumers planning to increase their spend most compared with 2020. This year, those UK customers who plan to shop expect to outspend their US counterparts (with an average planned spend of €390 in the UK compared with €370 in the US).

“It is hard to overstate the importance of Black Friday to retailers who have battled through the past couple of years of lockdowns and supply chain disruption,” said Chris Biggs, Global Retail Leader and managing director at BCG in London. “Customers told us they want, and plan, to spend more. But equally, customers are increasingly sensitive to how sustainable their shopping is—as well as poor website performance and any signs of delivery delays—and will move their spending if they feel retailers fall short of their expectations.”

More than Ever, Black Friday Is for Christmas-Shopping Bargains

Customers are increasingly using Black Friday to land Christmas gift bargains, with almost one in three planning to buy more Christmas gifts during Black Friday than in previous years. Consumer electronics and clothing top the charts for nearly 50% of Black Friday bargain hunters.

While online shopping continues to grow, the study shows there are also signs that brick and mortar retailers can do well if they adapt to the demands of the increasing number of hybrid consumers. In 2021, more consumers are expected to come back to stores on Black Friday, with 48% saying they prefer a hybrid on- and offline shopping experience.

“The data shows that traditional retailers can survive and thrive in this new shopping environment. The move to online shopping is not complete,” said Stefan Salzer, BCG managing director and partner in Dusseldorf. “A significant proportion of consumers want to shop on- and offline, and retailers who get the hybrid model right will prosper. A pure bricks and mortar presence however, without an integrated online offer, is not attractive anymore, as fewer than 10% of global shoppers want to participate in Black Friday purely in traditional stores.”

“The retail battle for consumer spend is going to be more intense than ever this year, and retailers will need to be agile and responsive to adapt to changing customer demands to benefit from what looks likely to be a bumper shopping season,” Salzer said.

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Local data is available upon request for Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US.

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