UK Consumers To Spend Less Over Black Friday And Cyber Monday

Nov 13, 2019


  • UK consumers are planning on spending £288 over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 12% drop from last year
  • Most shoppers (71%) will be spending on planned purchases, and less than a third (29%) will be willing buy spontaneously
  • The vast majority (89%) of UK consumers are planning to shop online over Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Only a small minority (11%) plan to exclusively shop in stores


An Oliver Wyman survey of 1,700 UK consumers reveals that shoppers plan to spend on average £288 during the long sale weekend. This is a 12% drop from last year, where respondents said they would be spending on average £330.

Less than a third of shoppers (29%) expect to be making spontaneous purchases. While there will be a small increase in sales directly related to discounts, it shows that this heavy discounting period is incentivising customers to move away from full-price purchases, reducing margins across the sector.

Despite the decline in spending, the vast majority (89%) are planning to shop online over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Of those shoppers, just over half (55%) are planning on making purchases with online-only businesses and a third on making purchases directly on retailers’ websites.

Although nearly half of UK consumers still plan to visit the high street (44%) only one in 10 (11%) will exclusively shop in-store. With UK online sales currently averaging 18.1% (ONS, September 2019), this signals a continued uplift towards online shopping.

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

"Our survey shows that UK shoppers are prepared to spend less over Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, they are likely to be suffering from promotional fatigue due to continuous discounts and offers. Over recent months, many retailers have increased their promotional programmes to maximise revenues and hold on to ever less loyal customers. In particular, shoppers are choosing to shop with online-only businesses where they can easily access price and product comparisons.


"Secondly, there has been a decrease in consumer confidence due to factors such as Brexit. In fact, 30% of people surveyed said they have been stockpiling before the Brexit deadline, in an attempt to beat the potential price increases, regardless of discounts they might be offered over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


"With discounts failing to generate more spending and an uncertain economic period ahead of us, retailers need to get smarter about the way they attract customers. They need to rethink their loyalty schemes to provide a real advantage. Through members clubs like and subscription-based schemes, shoppers who are increasingly driven by price rather than brand loyalty will keep coming back for offers, products and services they can’t get elsewhere."


About the survey

The online questionnaire was fielded in the UK with 1,700 individuals surveyed. Of these, 1,031 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 60 cities across 29 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.