Research - Black Friday set to break $7 billion

By AdNews | 19 September 2023

More than 10 million Australians will reach for their credit cards and wallets in the upcoming Black Friday sales on November 24, up 14% from last year, according to new research from strategic insights consultancy Nature.

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 quickly moving ahead of Boxing Day on Australians’ shopping lists with anticipated spend during the former set to be 20% higher than the latter.

Nature’s research - conducted in August and covering 1,000 people across Australia - 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% 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% of whom plan to make at least one purchase during Black Friday and their anticipated spend is 15% higher than among other generations, despite generally lower incomes.

Andrew Zylstra, Nature senior consultant, said despite rising rates, rent and inflation, this 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% of people saying they plan to get a good deal and beat the rush for Christmas during Black Friday," Zylstra said.

"But it isn’t all pre-planned: 44% 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."

Nature found that more than two-thirds of Black Friday spending will be in three categories: clothing, shoes and beauty (30%); electronics, tech and entertainment (21%); and furniture and home lifestyle (17%).

Aliya Hasan, Nature head of strategy, said for retailers, winning at Black Friday is now more important than ever and this 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," Hasan said.

"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."

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