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Black Friday Barometer shows negative feelings among UK consumers

There are a lot of unhappy UK consumers out there who don’t feel Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BF/CM) discounts are all they’re cracked up to be.

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In fact, nine negative observations have come out of the ‘New Discounting Playbook’ report commissioned by LoyaltyLion, reflecting widespread disappointment with the event’s deals and believe rules “need rewriting to attract long-term revenue”. 

Of over 2,000 consumers interviewed, 57% feel that BF/CM discounts are never as good as they expect them to be, 58% reported that products they want aren’t usually discounted making the retail event less relevant to them, and 58% also felt that BF/CM discounts pressure them into making purchases they wouldn’t otherwise have made.

Then there’s the 54% of UK consumers who expect brands to push lower quality products during BF/CM, with 53% believing the deals and offers provided during this period impacted their trust in brands.

Also, 56% of consumers feel that brands care more about selling products over supporting causes or living their values during BF/CM and 54% feel that brands don’t do enough to prepare for the rush of orders they’ll receive during the period. 

Finally half believe brands don’t communicate enough post-BF/CM purchase, while perversely, 54% feel that brands send too many promotional messages in the run up and during the BF/CM period.

“Once a feel-good Friday of deals, our research found that the now month-long BF/CM event is one that customers no longer altogether trust,” said Charlie Casey, CEO at LoyaltyLion. 

“Traditionally a golden opportunity to acquire new shoppers, the retail event is in danger of leaving existing customers feeling undervalued, under-appreciated and de-prioritised. While it is fair to say that there will no doubt be some good bargains out there, a worrying proportion of shoppers feel that the discounts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.” 

However, despite this negativity, research findings also indicated it’s possible to “replicate the surge of oxytocin that comes with bagging a discounted bargain and garner a feelgood factor towards a brand, but through alternative methods that won’t harm profit margins”. 

The report added that brands would do well to note 78% said offering free or discounted delivery would encourage positive sentiment towards a brand, as would giving out loyalty points that consumers could redeem against future purchases (73%).

Meanwhile special birthday offers (72%), promotions offering early access to sales (66%) and early access to new products (65%) were also cited as ways to enhance sentiment.  And 61% of consumers also cited they’d feel positive towards those brands that offered the opportunity to contribute to a charity or initiative aligned with their values. 

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