Holiday shoppers expecting deeper discounts on Black Friday

19 October 2020 2 min. read
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US consumers are expecting higher discounts than usual on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to a recent report from strategy and marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners. The firm surveyed 1,000 US consumers for their annual holiday shopping report.

“With the pandemic leaving consumers pessimistic about their financial outlook, consumers are wary of committing to spending what discretionary income they have left,” said Hubert Paul, director at Simon-Kucher.

As such, more than half (52%) of consumers are expecting Black Friday discounts of 25% to 50%, compared to 44% of consumers expecting such high discounts in 2019. Meanwhile, 21% of consumers expect discounts of 50% or more on Cyber Monday, compared to 12% of consumers in 2019.

Though they’re hoping to see better deals, most shoppers (70%) plan to spend the same amount or more during the season’s most popular retail holidays. More than 80% of Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers plan to spend at least $50, while more than 30% expect to spend at least $200.

Holiday shoppers expecting deeper discounts on Black Friday

Deloitte’s holiday shopping report estimates that US retail sales between November and January will rise by a modest 1% to 1.5% to reach between $1.147 trillion to $1.152 trillion.

With many Americans feeling financially squeezed by the pandemic-driven downturn, more (78%) plan to browse available deals rather than seek out specific products (51%), compared to 66% and 59% respectively in 2019.

The pandemic will unsurprisingly nudge more Black Friday shoppers into e-commerce purchases, with more than 30% saying they will shop exclusively online – a 15% year-over-year jump. Sixteen percent of respondents in the Simon-Kucher survey said they would only shop at brick-and-mortar stores.

The survey also found that consumers expect retailers to offset any increased shipping costs (companies such as FedEx and UPS typically institute holiday surcharges and fees). The top options consumers chose for how retailers should mitigate those costs were “lessen the shipping speed for ‘free shipping’” and “provide an option to ship to store/curbside pickup.”

“It’s a surprise to no one that many consumers will be opting to shop from the comfort and – thanks to a global pandemic – safety of their own homes this year,” said Paul. “However, consumers are also particularly sensitive to ‘unnecessary spending’ as a result of the economic crisis, so shipping costs are not something they’re going to want to pay more for.”