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Global Black Friday Forecast Reveals Enthusiasm for the US Holiday Shopping Season has Returned, Though Consumers Still Face Challenges Such As Supply Chain Limitations

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US consumers now perceive Amazon Prime Day as the second best day for shopping deals, ahead of Cyber Monday and behind Black Friday. In general, consumers have lower discount expectations and higher budgets for the holiday season.

[Boston, MA], [November 17, 2021] The Global Black Friday Forecast* conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global strategy and marketing consulting firm, revealed that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are continuing to grow in popularity across the world. The study, based on a representative sample of more than 11,000 consumers across 17 countries (1,010 US-based respondents), revealed that more than half of consumers plan to buy something during these holiday shopping events. Additionally, 72 percent of US shoppers expect to spend $100 or more in 2021 (vs. 62 percent in 2020, and 63 percent in 2019).

Black Friday and holiday shopping is back – but consumers are still risk-adverse

Across all countries surveyed, awareness of Black Friday has increased – in fact, of the 17 countries surveyed, 10 reported 100 percent awareness of the holiday shopping event. In the US, 97 percent of consumers said they know about Black Friday as compared to 94 percent in 2020.

Last year, during the first holiday season of the pandemic, more than 60 percent of consumers agreed that the pandemic had influenced their shopping behavior -- they planned less in advance, had lower budgets, and shopped more online. This year, many US consumers will continue to be more conservative with their spending post-pandemic – 78 percent said they will continue to reduce their spending even when life returns to normal.

US shoppers have also adjusted their expectations in terms of discounts this holiday season – 64 percent of Black Friday shoppers expect discounts of 26 percent or greater (--6 percent vs. 2020, +9 percent vs. 2019) and 53 percent of Cyber Monday shoppers expect discounts of 26 percent or greater (--17 percent vs. 2020, +1 percent vs. 2019).

“Following 2020’s shift to online-only shopping, this year we will see a shift back towards brick-and-mortar with 74% of consumers expecting to do part of their holiday shopping in stores,” said Shikha Jain, partner in Simon-Kucher’s consumer goods & retail practice. “This trend of ‘revenge retail’, where consumers are essentially making up for what wasn’t possible last year, creates a challenge for retailers to deliver a seamless omni-channel experience across online and brick-and-mortar. While many consumers will still rely on online shopping, there will be a surge of shoppers who expect the in-store experiences they knew pre-pandemic, and especially as they are more cautious about their spending habits, retailers will have limited opportunities to win their dollars.”

Amazon Prime Day overtakes Cyber Monday

For the first time, US consumers indicated that they view Amazon Prime Day as a better day for shopping deals than Cyber Monday (16 percent of consumers said Amazon Prime Day was the best shopping event of the year for deals, vs. 13 percent of consumers for Cyber Monday.). Across all shopping events of the year, Black Friday remains the highest rated for the best deals.

“Amazon is continuing to prove that it is a force to be reckoned with – this rise is largely fueled by a combination of an increase in Prime membership in 2020 and a higher participation from brands and other retailers,” said Hubert Paul, senior director in Simon-Kucher’s consumer goods & retail practice. “We can expect to see brands and retailers piggybacking off the success of this day with even more competitive promotional responses in the future.”

Supply chain issues are impacting consumer behavior

Globally, 75 percent of respondents say they intend to continue to increase the amount of local shopping they do – in the US, this number in on par with the global average at 74 percent.

However, there is also some confusion amongst shoppers on how to best navigate these challenges – 30 percent said they will shop sooner than expected, and another 30 percent said they will shop later to wait and see what happens.

“Consumers are making conscious tradeoffs between discounts and getting the items they want,” said Joanna Perey, director in Simon-Kucher’s consumer goods & retail practice. “Those shopping earlier are less price sensitive and more focused on making sure they get the items they want, while those who wait are more are more driven by discounts. Again, brands and retailers must take into account both of these segments of consumers and be prepared to meet expectations of both.”

Full study report available upon request

*About the study: The Global Black Friday Forecast was conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners and Dynata in October 2021. More than 11,000 people across 17 countries (Belgium, Brazil, China, Columbia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA) were surveyed about their shopping preferences and behaviors for this year’s holiday season. This study was led by a group of experts from Simon-Kucher’s global Consumer Goods & Retail practice.

For further information please contact:

Rachel Pope
e-mail: rachel.pope@simon-kucher.com


Simon-Kucher & Partners, Strategy & Marketing Consultants:

Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm specializing in TopLine Power®. We help our clients achieve growth and profit targets by applying practical, evidence-based strategies. Simon-Kucher & Partners is regarded as the world’s leading pricing advisor and thought leader. The firm has over 1,600 employees in 41 offices worldwide.