The new Black Friday and Covid-19 Report, by PriceSpy, reveals how the global pandemic is not only affecting shopping habits this year but also the price and availability of goods, leaving many shoppers fearing they’ll be Christmas present-less this year.
According to the report almost two-fifths (38 percent) of people said they didn’t feel safe enough to shop in physical stores this year for fear of being exposed to Covid-19, up 11 percent on 2020. Despite this, more Kiwis than ever (65 percent) are planning to shop during Black Friday/Black Week this year.
What’s more, the way we shop is changing. Even though Black Friday is traditionally an online shopping day, for the last three consecutive years (from 2017 to 2020), PriceSpy survey respondents estimated they would do the majority of their Black Friday shopping in-store compared to online.
This year, however, the results are very different – with almost two fifths (38 percent) of survey respondents estimating they will do most of their Black Friday/Black Week shopping online (including click & collect), an increase of five per cent year-on-year.
Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, New Zealand Country Manager for PriceSpy, says: “These findings suggest safety when shopping is more important to Kiwis this year, perhaps due to the current situation and rising number of Covid-19 cases.
“Last year, New Zealand wasn’t in lockdown, unlike much of the rest of the world. This year however, it’s looking increasingly likely shopping restrictions and social-distancing requirements will apply. So, people who would normally visit a physical shop to buy items are instead planning to visit the shop’s website instead.”
It’s been widely reported that the global pandemic has had a knock-on effect on the price of goods too, with manufacturing disruptions, rising operational costs and increased demand on shipping all playing a part.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by consumers, with 72 percent of those surveyed saying they felt price points of consumer goods and grocery items have increased in New Zealand compared to pre-Covid times.
And that can be backed up by data. New Zealand’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.2 percent in the third quarter, beating expectations and surging at the fastest pace in over a decade. And historical pricing information from PriceSpy highlights this, too.
Matinvesi-Bassett adds: “With so many factors potentially affecting how much you’ll end up paying, it’s really important to carry out basic price research before shopping this Black Friday. It might also pay to be flexible and willing to change your buying habits should a deal arise earlier than Black Friday itself.”
PriceSpy’s Price Index data, which monitors prices points across the-most popular products listed on the price and product comparison website, suggests early price drops can be found from the start of November.
In saying this, pricing data from PriceSpy also found one in ten products listed on its site (8 percent) increased in price in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, to then drop in price on the sales day to make discounts appear better than what they are.
Prices aren’t the only things impacted by Covid-19
Unfortunately, prices aren’t the only thing being impacted by Covid-19. Disruptions, delays and increased demand are all playing havoc with shoppers’ Black Friday shopping plans, says Liisa.
Almost three quarters (73 percent) of New Zealanders said they had noticed certain items have not been available to purchase from stores/supermarkets following the global outbreak of Covid-19, listing toilet paper, baking goods, cat food and prunes as some of the examples.
And 59 percent of the people surveyed said they had experienced shipping/delivery delays on items they’d bought since the global pandemic, with some reporting they’d waited months and even up to a year for items to arrive.
To try and get around the issue, almost a third (29 percent) of Kiwis say they are pre-ordering more goods rather than waiting until they were in-stock.
“We’ve seen a trend in pre-ordering electronic goods globally for a number of months now. Items like the PS5 and the new Xbox are always bagged by those who get in there early,” adds Liisa. “But due to Covid-19 affecting shipping, it could be that we see pre-ordering start being offered more across a suite of products rather than just the ‘big ticket’ items.”
According to the report, it’s clear Covid-19 has affected people’s confidence in sales shopping this year, with 65 percent saying they’re worried they won’t get their Black Friday-purchased items in time for Christmas.
“The only thing we can be certain about this year is that nothing’s certain!” says Liisa.
“Covid-19 has affected our lives in ways we could never have predicted and it’s unknown what’s going to happen next. The best thing to do in situations like this is prepare, and when it comes to shopping the best preparation comes in the form of price research with PriceSpy and not panic buying.