“‘Twas a month before Christmas and all through the house, loads of presents but none for the spouse.”
Black Friday is almost here! People across the country are hunting for money down the back of the sofa and warming up their mouse-clicking fingers for the biggest shopping day of the year.
But while Christmas is the season for giving, it appears this Friday’s event will be all about the keeping.
Bing has crunched the data in the run-up to Black Friday and found that 59% of people planned to buy items for themselves, with just two-in-five shoppers using the day to buy Christmas gifts for others.
Microsoft’s search engine also revealed that a quarter of all bargain-hunters are looking to buy a 4K television, with 18% keeping an eye out for games consoles such as the Xbox One S. Smartphones (17%) and drones (14%) will also be popular, Bing predicted.
“Black Friday is now one of the most hotly anticipated shopping days in the calendar,” said Kevin Stagg, Head of Marketing at Bing. “Interestingly, despite complaints about how difficult it is to buy gifts for people, we’re not making it any easier on friends and family by using the sales to snag ourselves a gift ahead of time.”
The vast majority of people (78%) will use a phone or tablet to grab a bargain on Friday, with the hour between 6pm and 7pm expected to be the most popular time for shopping.
Londoners are most likely to use Bing to shop online on November 24, with those in the West Midlands in second place. Anyone signed in to Microsoft Rewards while using Bing to search for bargains will automatically earn points that can be put towards a range of items on the Microsoft Store, including films, games, apps and devices. Points can also be turned into charity donations.
Black Friday was started in 1952 in the US, and takes place every year on the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the start of the country’s Christmas shopping season, and most major retailers still host sales and open very early.
Black Friday spread to the UK in 2010, and more than £1bn was spent last year – a 12% increase on 2015. Shoppers are predicted to spend £2.6bn, or £1.8m per minute, this Friday.
“More than £1.3bn was spent in the UK last year, and the continued surge in mobile use suggests that it will be surpassed this year,” Stagg added.