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Black Friday: over a third of Gen Z shoppers influenced by brand ethics

Mention Me’s third annual research report into shopping trends has found 39 per cent of the 2,000 UK consumers questioned do not plan to shop on Black Friday at all. However, this is a sharp decrease from last year’s figure of 53 per cent and 2017’s of 63 per cent, suggesting that the annual shopping event might be gaining even more traction in the UK.

Savvy Generation Z and younger Millennials still widely anticipate Black Friday, with 31 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 26 per cent of 25-34 year olds planning to shop Black Friday stating that they hold off making any major purchases two months prior to the event. This cost conscious group of Black Friday shoppers also admit that they decide what to buy on the day and go to the brands with the biggest discounts, claimed by 30 per cent of 25-34 year old respondents and 23 per cent of 35-44 year olds, suggesting that some Black Friday traffic spikes won’t necessarily translate into loyal customers.

However more reassuringly for retailers, the survey echoes the current wider sentiment that trust is an increasingly important theme across society. 33 per cent of the 18-24 year old Black Friday shoppers questioned state that they would only shop with brands that they already know and are loyal to. This also applied to 20 per cent of those surveyed who were planning to shop on Black Friday across every other age group.

For the third year the report reveals that friend and family recommendations still top all other discovery methods for those planning to shop on Black Friday, with 26 per cent of 18-34 year olds, 25 per cent of 35-44 year olds and 24 per cent of 45-54 year olds, only dropping to 16 per cent of the 55+ age group.

A new trend revealed in this year’s results reflects the wider growing significance of a brand’s ethics for consumers, with 29 per cent of the 18-24 year olds, 25 per cent of the 25-34 year olds and 20 per cent of the 35-44 year old Black Friday shoppers surveyed stating that they will be influenced by brands with positive sustainable and ethical behaviour. This trend dips in the older generations with 14 per cent of 45-54 year olds and 12 per cent of 55+ Black Friday shoppers.

Black Friday shoppers appear to have more selfish motives for their purchases according to the research, especially Generation Z with 36 per cent of 18-24 year old Black Friday shoppers admitting that they are buying for themselves rather than presents for friends and family (27 per cent). The figures for self shopping are high across each age range but peak again for the 55+ group with 33 per cent shopping for themselves compared with 24 per cent shopping for presents. Men are also more selfish Black Friday shoppers with 23 per cent more likely to shop for themselves than friends and family.

Andy Cockburn, CEO of Mention Me comments, “Black Friday remains a high octane impactful calendar event for our 400+ retail clients, echoed by our research revealing that 61 per cent of the 2,000 consumers questioned are planning on Black Friday shopping. What’s interesting this year is that the movement towards trust in brands and ethical shopping is starting to have an impact on this shopping event previously focussed solely on discounting. Retailers need to work to sustain their image pre and post event and can no longer just rely on offering the best price on Black Friday if they want to build long term valued customers”. 

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