Black Friday 2018 Shopping Report: Consumers are eager, more digital, and willing to spend

An annual survey to better understand changing consumer attitudes to Black Friday and explore how they plan to shop for the 2018 holiday season.

No longer a one-day shopping extravaganza, Black Friday kicks off an extended discount period running through to Cyber Monday that’s become an established feature of the retail calendar on both sides of the Atlantic–one that has dramatically changed the way people shop in the run-up to Christmas.

The Black Friday 2018 Shopping Report delivers detailed insights into consumer sentiment and intentions, exploring how consumers plan to shop, what they intend to buy, how much they anticipate spending, and whether they’ll be heading in-store or online to make their purchases.

Providing retailers with in-depth intelligence on potential opportunities on the horizon, this year’s report also lifts the veil on:

  • How consumers are planning ahead for the event–and the budgets they’ve set aside to shop
  • Which product categories they’re planning to shop–and the channels they’ll be using to research and make purchases in these categories
  • What’s triggering changes in consumer shopping behaviors


This is the third year that Periscope by McKinsey has polled consumers in the US and UK in a bid to identify actionable insights retailers can leverage for the upcoming Black Friday period. This year, we’re delighted to announce we’ve extended the scope of the Black Friday 2018 Shopping Report with the addition of new research data from surveys undertaken with consumers in Canada and Germany.

Key finding: consumer awareness and predisposition to participate is high

More than 70% of consumers are aware of Black Friday and plan to get involved

This year’s findings reveal an impressive level of consumer interest in Black Friday on both sides of the Atlantic. Event awareness was exceptional among UK (92%) and Canadian (91%) respondents, outstripping even that of US shoppers (88%) for whom the concept of Black Friday discounts is a long-established tradition. Similarly, it’s clear that Black Friday is a growing trend in Germany, where 78% of shoppers had the event on their radar.

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With retailers outside the US now participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, discounting practices are stimulating ever greater consumer participation in the annual shopping event. For example, in Europe just 19% of UK respondents had participated in Black Friday back in 2015–compared to an impressive 54% in 2017. It was a similar story in Germany, with 9% of consumers getting involved in 2015–jumping to 43% in 2017.

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In Canada, consumer participation has shown similar impressive gains, growing from 26% in 2015 to 49% in 2017–and an anticipated 81% saying they plan to definitely shop or browse in 2018. Anticipation in the other surveyed regions is also high, with 77% of respondents saying that they too plan to shop or browse at this year’s event and consider making a purchase if the price is right.

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