Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Research reveals delay in purchases before Black Friday

Major sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (24-27 November) are regarded as windfall events for retailers. Last year, Australians spent more than $7.1 billion across the four-day Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales[1]. Now, new research by a major parcel delivery service reveals that in the weeks before these events, retailers are likely to experience a drop in sales as two in three shoppers hold back their wallets in anticipation of deep discounts during the sales. The findings may help retailers decide whether to introduce earlier or more regular sales.

The results were derived from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1005 online shoppers[2] commissioned by parcel delivery service CouriersPlease.

How long do shoppers delay purchases before the sales?

CouriersPlease asked survey respondents whether they hold off on purchasing some non-essential goods in the two weeks, one month, two months, three months or six months leading up to shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the hopes of nabbing a bargain.

The survey’s most surprising finding was that nearly 65% of Australian consumers opt to defer their online purchases until the peak shopping event of Black Friday, lured by the prospect of significant cost savings and unbeatable deals. It is a purposeful strategy aimed at securing massive bargains.

It appears patience pays off when it comes to the quest for enticing deals. Thirty (30)% of shoppers prefer to wait until just two weeks before Black Friday to make non-essential purchases. An additional 17% choose to hold off for a full month. However, the most strategic shoppers display incredible discipline, with 10% postponing their shopping for two months, 5% for three months, and 3% delaying ultimate shopping satisfaction for an extraordinary six months.

Fashion tops the list of purchases shoppers hold out for 

The survey found that shoppers strategically navigate the E-Commerce landscape to pursue enticing deals and cost savings for specific shopping list items. CouriersPlease asked respondents which retail items they generally hold out for, in the hopes of getting a better deal during the sales. Fashion tops the list, with 61% usually holding off on purchasing clothing, accessories and jewellery.

More than half (57%) delay purchasing personal electronics, 55% delay purchasing household electronics, 45% hold off on household appliance purchases and 43% would delay purchasing beauty and personal care items to try and reap better deals during the sales period. One third (35%) of respondents delay buying furniture or homewares, and 30% hold off on books, movies, music and games. One in four (25%) wait to make holiday purchases.

Younger shoppers hold back longer for the sales

When it comes to what shopping list items are worth waiting for, 23% of respondents aged 18-30 are willing to hold back from purchases for a full month, compared with 17% in the 31-50 age group and 13% of over-50s. Evidently, younger consumers exhibit greater patience in their pursuit of the best deals, as over-50s are less likely to delay purchases, with 52% just buying items as needed.

Additionally, an impressive 65% of respondents aged 18-30 prefer to hold off on purchasing clothing, accessories, jewellery, or shoes, compared with 60% of those aged 31-50 and 57% of over-50s. In comparison, respondents aged 31-50 are more inclined to delay personal electronics purchases, at 61%.

CouriersPlease CEO Richard Thame suggests, “Our findings show there may be a temporary dip in sales for retailers in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumers are withholding spending on non-essential items in anticipation of discounts. To counteract this, retailers might want to consider introducing Black Friday-type deals earlier in the year or invest in a big sale event that becomes synonymous with their brand.

“From previous surveys that we have commissioned, we know that shipping costs and fast shipping are a major influencer on shopper behaviours. At CouriersPlease, we have forged a strategic alliance with the E-Commerce partner HUBBED where parcels can be directed to over 3000 collection points Australia-wide, with many being accessible after hours. We encourage retailers to choose a delivery provider that provides their customers with plenty of value, including alternate parcel pick-up and drop-off locations, next-day deliveries and redirections.”

The full survey results can be found at


[2] Survey of a nationally representative panel of 1005 consumers who have shopped online at least three times in the previous three months.

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