Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

The Ghost Shoppers of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Blog
28th November 2018

Ghost shopping is a fairly new term in retail, but it describes how customers are visiting a high street store and then ordering the same product online, often on their phone while they are still in the store. Yes, many of them don’t even go home first.

Research Webhelp conducted last week with YouGov revealed that around Black Friday and Cyber Monday 18% of 18–24-year-olds will ghost shop while still in the store and overall, 1 in 10 across all age ranges surveyed admitted they had ghost shopped while visiting high street stores.

I can remember when people used to go window-shopping. They wouldn’t buy anything, but they might spend hours exploring stores and looking at products and retail displays. Ghost shopping sounds like this, but the big difference is that these are real customers! They’re buying products but using high street stores as a way of seeing and feeling the products before actually buying.

The research unsurprisingly confirmed that customers are increasingly turning to online shopping around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, it’s not just the younger generations that do so; we found that more over 55s said they will be shopping online for Christmas this year than those aged 18-24. So while ghost shopping may well be more common with younger shoppers, it would appear that online retail is generally popular with anyone who wants to save time and reduce the stress of waiting in line with other bargain-hunters.

When Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers need help from retailers, social media is popular among 18-24-year-olds, with 35% using it as a research tool compared to only 12% of the over 55s. 28% of 18-24-year-olds also used it to contact retailers when product issues arise, with 47% of 35-44-year-olds using webchat. Overall, a third of UK consumers still phone a contact centre, proving that if your enquiry is urgent or complex, then it is still better to pick up the phone than to fire off a tweet!

However, it’s interesting to point out that our work with clients confirms that while the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend remains an important trigger for pre-Christmas sales, a majority of retailers are moving away from a focus on a single day. Many are spreading their Black Friday activity over an entire week, but some are focusing on the entire Black Friday to Christmas period as this helps to avoid the chaos of trying to focus so many sales on a single day.

To back this up, over the past few years, Webhelp has found that the Black Friday period required a doubling in the number of customer service advisors, but this year the increase will only be half that. This is because we’re actively working with retailers to manage certain Black Friday and Cyber Monday activity with chat bots and to improve self-service – i.e. helping customers to resolve their own issues without requiring the contact centre.

The main focus has been to ensure that the end-to-end customer experience becomes more sophisticated, in order to reflect the way consumers are experiencing and engaging with brands. This involves a greater focus on engagement, building genuine ‘relationships’ with customers, and offering well designed options such as self-service and chatbots so that customers can resolve simple problems quickly without the need to call for help.

To conclude, it’s clear that shopping behaviours will continue to evolve   with the potential to further impact the high street. It’s not all doom and gloom however… retailers that adapt to create rewarding and seamless shopping and customer service experiences, irrespective of the channel, and reimagine the actual role of the high street, will  reap the rewards.

Interested in digital transformation or the work that we’re doing with some major retailers? Please get in touch – I’d love to talk. Email: helen.murray@uk.webhelp.com.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Service Provider
Solution Designer
Technology Enabler
Blog
Whitepaper launch: Generations – Cohort views on CX and the workplace

Webhelp’s latest Disruptor Series Whitepaper, which highlights the impact of generational influences on CX. For the launch, Gillian Campbell, Chief People Officer UK Region & Director Global Engagement, takes a look at employee issues and how they will affect the workforce moving forward. Today’s workforce is at a turning point, as it takes on the challenge of the post Baby Boomer...

News
Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail | Charity Week

Webhelp is delighted to sponsor Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail 2019, Scotland’s first-ever national public art trail, raising vital funds for children in hospital across Scotland. Each week of the event takes on a different theme, as it is Charity Week, it’s a perfect time to look back at...

News
Groupe Bruxelles Lambert enters into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of the Webhelp group

GBL announces today it has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake in the Webhelp group, together with its co-founding shareholders, Olivier Duha and Frédéric Jousset, who would retain their role as founding executive directors, and its management team. Founded in 2000,...

Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Whitepaper
AI AND AUTOMATION: IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

How do we really want to interact with brands? What do we really think about AI and Automation? How important is it to strike the right balance between human talent and AI and Automation for CX? Read our new paper to find out more.   The Webhelp Disruptor Series. Be part of...

Load more
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook