Despite retailers launching Black Friday campaigns earlier this year, the average amount spent per British shopper is expected to plummet by £142 ($178), marking a 50% decline from individual spending in 2022.

The cost-of-living crisis is intensifying, prompting a sharp decrease in Black Friday budgets.

According to research by SAP Emarsys, the average Brit is set to spend just £141 this Black Friday, totalling £7.7bn, compared to last year’s average of £283.

Gender and age divide in Black Friday spending habits

SAP Emarsys’ research reveals notable differences in Black Friday spending habits based on gender and age. Women plan to spend £90 while men are gearing up for more significant purchases at £188.

The study indicates that Gen Z, aged 16-24, is poised to lead the shopping spree this Black Friday, with an average spending of £298.

In contrast, individuals more than 55 are budgeting significantly less, with an average spend of £64, highlighting a generation gap in spending patterns.

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Brits plan to triple Christmas gift purchases

Amid tightening wallets and heightened concerns about the cost of living, Black Friday is becoming a beacon of hope for many Brits.

SAP Emarsys’ research shows that over a quarter (27%) of British shoppers plan to buy most of their Christmas gifts during the Black Friday sales, nearly tripling the amount from the previous year (10%).

In 2022, 5.5 million Brits aimed to snag the majority of their Christmas gifts on Black Friday; this year, that number is expected to rise to 15 million.

Retailers urged to embrace value exchange beyond discounts

As Black Friday looms, SAP Emarsys underscores the evolving importance of the day for UK retailers. While discounts remain a key attraction, the company warns that they alone won’t secure long-term sales and loyalty.

Kelsey Jones, Global Head of Product Marketing at SAP Emarsys, emphasises the decline of ‘Incentivised Loyalty’ and advocates for value exchange. Retailers are urged to provide elevated customer experiences, including VIP access to new products and personalised offers.

The use of AI technologies is highlighted to anticipate consumer preferences and foster true loyalty through omnichannel personalisation.

Breaking the cycle of discounting: leaning into customer advocacy

Roy Robinson, Chief Product Officer at SAP Emarsys partner Mention Me, emphasises the need for brands to move beyond relying solely on discounts to attract customers.

Instead, brands are encouraged to deliver highly personalised, data-driven experiences that encourage customers to become active brand advocates.

By fostering customer advocacy, brands can attract new customers predisposed to love their brand, spend more and build lasting loyalty, ultimately breaking the cycle of continual discounting.