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Two thirds of consumers preparing to shop tomorrow
Black Friday will see 68 per cent of customers commit to online Christmas purchases.

By Christina Williams

27 November 2014

Over two thirds of consumers are planning to commit to their Christmas purchases tomorrow as the industry steels itself for Black Friday.

he phenomenon – which began in the US as the Friday following Thanksgiving Day – generally sees a peak in online orders as customers are driven to the internet following their November paydays, and has been fuelled by increasing discounting as retailers attempt to capture the potential of Christmas spending.
 
“The discounts on offer for Black Friday will enable shoppers to make major savings on their festive spending,” says Scott Law, CEO of Pay4Later, the commissioner of the survey. “It is going to be a very busy day for retailers.”

The study found that 940,000 consumers are planning to do 90 per cent or more of their Christmas shopping tomorrow, while one in ten of those surveyed were planning to carry out more than half of their festive purchases.
 
Currently, discounts that will be offered by retailers tomorrow include 50 per cent off at Gap, 20 per cent off at Asos, 20 per cent off at River Island and 30 per cent off at Whistles. Other brands, meanwhile, are attempting to capture consumer spending ahead of Black Friday, with early offers starting today.

Retailers are, however, warned to ensure that they have the capacity to deal with the increase in orders ahead of such a peak in online orders.

“According to Visa, £360,000 is expected to be spent every minute tomorrow,” says Paul Doble, chief sales & marketing officer at logistics provider DX. “With such a huge volume of purchases needing to be delivered to consumers, retailers with an online presence are in danger of overwhelming the capacity of their distribution networks and run the risk of leaving unwelcome spaces under the nation’s Christmas trees.

“As such, throughout the busy Christmas trading season, retailers must try to forecast as accurately as possible the volumes that will need to be sent, and then communicate these expectations to their logistics partners, who will take up a huge percentage of this volume," he continues.

"Ultimately, when Christmas presents fail to arrive, it will be the retailer that bears the brunt of disgruntled customers and negative publicity. As such, retailers need to be asking themselves the question – just how robust are my Christmas delivery plans?”

 
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