UK Consumers Set to Shop Online More – and Spend More – Than Those in the US and Europe This Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Nov 18, 2018

  • Only 10 percent of UK consumers planning to take advantage of deals over the upcoming weekend will shop in physical stores. The vast majority plan to shop online only (73 percent), higher than in any other country surveyed

  • Black Friday shoppers are planning on spending on average £327 during the long weekend of sales, higher than in any other country surveyed

  • Results come from an international survey of consumer spending habits during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

London -- A new international survey of consumer spending habits shows that the vast majority (73 percent) of UK consumers planning to shop over Black Friday and Cyber Monday will only shop online. This is compared to 71 percent in The Netherlands, 68 percent in Italy, 67 percent in Germany, 66 percent in Austria, 61 percent in the US, and 48 percent in France. With UK online sales currently averaging 17.8 percent (ONS, September 2018), this signals a significant uplift towards online shopping.

Less than three in 10 UK consumers (27 percent) are planning on visiting the shops. Only 10 percent of shoppers will exclusively shop in-store. By comparison, French consumers are planning on twice as much in-store shopping (18 percent).

The vast majority (73%) of UK consumers planning to shop over Black Friday and Cyber Monday will only shop online. This is compared to 66% in Germany, 67% in Austria, 61% in the US, 48% in France, 68% in Italy and 71% in The Netherlands.

Oliver Wyman Black Friday Survey, AT: n = 100, FR: n = 300, DE: n = 211, UK: n = 306, US: n=312, CH: n= 717, NL: n = 100, IT: n=301


Conducted by Oliver Wyman, the global management consultancy, the findings also reveal that UK consumers will be spending more (on average £327) during the long sale weekend than any other country. By comparison, the average US consumer is planning on spending $390, the German consumer €315, the Austrian consumer €293, the Dutch consumer €286, the French consumer €275, and the Italian consumer €218

Consumers will be looking for big bargains, with the average discount that the UK consumer expects being around 40 percent off the full retail price, again slightly higher than in other European countries and the US.  

Duncan Brewer, retail and consumer goods partner, Oliver Wyman, says:

“Our survey shows that UK shoppers are leading the way as “online-first” consumers, particularly when price and product comparisons become a key driver of shopping behaviour.

“While this one-off occasion is expected to boost consumer spending across the surveyed countries, retailers should take into consideration that not all this spending is incremental. With 75% of UK shoppers surveyed looking to buy planned purchases, rather than new, spontaneous products, retailers need to be smart with their discounting strategy to maximise sales and margins across the weekend.”

About the survey

The online questionnaire was fielded in the following countries: UK, US, France, Austria, Italy and Germany. We surveyed 7,849 individuals globally. Of these, 1,630 said they plan to shop this year on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday.

About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across nearly 30 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm has more than 5,000 professionals around the world who work with clients to optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities. Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC]. For more information, visit Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman.