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Irish consumers gear up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping

13 November, 2018

Irish shoppers welcoming Black Friday to the Christmas party

The PwC Ireland Consumer Insight survey that explores consumers’ spending intentions has revealed that a third of Irish consumers expect to spend more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year than they did in 2017.

The survey was carried out online by Amárach Research in October 2018. It canvassed the opinions of 1,000 Irish consumers. The survey reveals that:

  • Three-quarters of Irish consumers are confident that the economy will perform as well or better in the next 12 months
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday are more popular with younger age groups
  • The majority of consumers do their Christmas shopping in December
  • Online shopping is important, but so too is the in-store experience
  • Buying Irish is important to most of those polled
Young couple looking at a Christmas-themed window display while shopping.

The Black Friday feeling – a fifth of Irish consumers plan to spend

Irish shoppers have embraced Black Friday and Cyber Monday and are eager participators in the traditional American shopping bonanza. One-fifth of survey respondents confirmed that they will make some form of purchase on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while a further 37% are considering it.

Shoppers are polarised in their views of Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping – 61% of 18 to 34-year-olds intend to purchase, while only 7% of the over-55s will purchase.

“With retailers and brands going through so much transformation, the survey highlights that Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the run up to Christmas, offer great shopping and business opportunities. Savvy shoppers are getting the Black Friday feeling, and so should retailers. The survey highlights that consumer spending in Ireland will be significant on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and retailers need to ensure they get their fair share of the action.”

Black Friday opens door to Christmas shopping

Just 20% of shoppers expect to do the majority of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday while the majority of survey respondents still expect to do it in December. Nearly one in ten have done their Christmas shopping already.

Grace McCullen, Senior Manager with PwC Retail and consumer practice said: “While Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping may be opportunistic, presenting a huge retail opportunity, there is plenty more opportunity for retailers to capitalise on in December. Black Friday and Cyber Monday drives footfall to stores and conversions online. Proactive retailers should leverage that appetite and seek to maximise the extended Christmas trading period, capitalising on targeted promotions and margin management opportunities.”

In-store experience still important, powered by mobile

The frequency of online purchasing is high. 23% buy online weekly with a further 27% purchasing at least a few times a month. But shopping is not just about online or in store. The survey reveals that the most popular channel for Black Friday / Cyber Monday spending is online (66%) and for Christmas spending it is the store (58%). Nearly half (49%) of 18-34 year olds plan to make their Black Friday / Cyber Monday purchases via their mobile phones while a third (34%) of over 55s plan to purchase online via laptop or desktop.

Owen McFeely, Director of PwC’s Retail and consumer practice said: “With mobile purchasing becoming more popular, technology provides a gateway for shoppers seeking value with faster and smarter choices. Data is king and it also offers brands and retailers the prospect of using and growing their database to deliver personalised offers and better customer experience. And while there is a paradox of privacy and trust, in our experience, consumers are prepared to share their information with retailers as long as trust is in place and they receive something valuable in return. In a world where consumers are always-on, having the right blend of loyalty-generating service and personalised promotions will help reap the benefits of the Black Friday weekend and Christmas shopping opportunities.”

Grace McCullen added: “The survey gives a clear message that retailers must digitise their businesses to offer an integrated seamless online and mobile experience alongside that in store. In spite of online trends, satisfying consumer expectations in store is as important as ever. Retailer owned media channels, including websites, apps and social media, are powerful methods to directly entice and engage with shopper segments. They can also help retailers reach the ultimate goal of long term customer value.”

Electronics, clothing and footwear big ticket items

Clothing/footwear (69%) and electronics (60%) will be the big ticket items and the most popular on Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Around a third plan to purchase beauty products, toys and books, movies, games. Electronics is most popular with males while clothes and footwear are most popular with females. Nearly half of 35-44 year-olds plan to buy toys.

Getting a good deal the top priority

Whether online or in store, respondents stated that getting a good deal (62%) and having stress free shopping (58%) are the most important priorities when deciding where to do their Christmas shopping. Spending as little as possible is important for just four out of ten (41%).

Buying Irish important

Nearly two-thirds (60%) said it was important to buy local Irish products during Christmas and rises to 70% for over 55 year-olds.  Reasons given for buying Irish included: a positive effect on the Irish economy (86%); supporting local retailers (84%); product traceability (53%) and quality (41%).


Contact us

Owen McFeely

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: 353 86 417 4381

Grace McCullen

Senior Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 5617

Johanna Dehaene

Corporate Communications, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6547

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