Black Friday: Shoppers spending habits & their impact on the environment

This year's Black Friday sales have already begun, many brands are already offering major discounts on their products. But how eager are consumers? Will the pandemic affect shopping habits this year? With the country still in Lockdown, you might as well start your Christmas shopping early and this is made easy with all the Black Friday sales that have been going on for the past few weeks. The official Black Friday is this week, Friday 27th November, and it is interesting to see how consumers are spending and what impact this could have on the environment.

According to new data from the experts at money.co.uk, 77% of adults in the UK are planning to purchase in the Black Friday events this year. Four in 10 say they will spend between £200 and £300 more than they did last year on Black Friday, with one in 10 planning to spend £500 more. A further 15% admit they will spend a massive amount of £600-£2,000 more this year.

The new Dirty Delivery report by the personal finance experts at money.co.uk reveals the shopping habits of UK consumers when shopping for Black Friday deals online and the potential environmental impact of the delivery that comes with them.


The study reveals that one in three consumers (35%) will choose next day delivery when making a purchase online, which is the least environmentally-friendly choice. Only one in 10 (11.7%) say they consider carbon-friendly delivery when online shopping and almost three quarters (72%) admit they prefer retailers who offer free delivery.

One in five shoppers (20%) admit they would refuse to pay extra to reduce the carbon generated by their purchase, whereas 17% say they would pay up to £2 to do so. It is obvious that age plays a part in the eco-shopping decisions made, 16-24-year-olds are twice as likely to choose a green delivery option (16%) compared to those 55+ (8%).

The study also shows that men can be more impatient when online shopping, with 38% admitting to choosing next day delivery options, compared to 33% of women.

However, 75.82% of women look for free delivery, compared to 67% of men.

So, what are the effects that Black Friday could have on the environment? Deliveries from the event are expected to release over 429,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Hermes is forecasted to produce 58,313 tonnes of CO2, which is the most out of all online delivery companies this year. Amazon could process 5.1 million transactions on Black Friday, which could result in 18,854 tonnes of CO2.

When shopping in the Black Friday sales this year try to be more conscious of both how much you are spending and what impact it could have on the environment. Try to shop locally, from smaller businesses so that you can help the local economy after the tough year they have had, shopping locally will also reduce the amount of CO2 released from your purchase. Why not try click and collect, some companies offer this and it is usually free, saving you the delivery cost and reducing carbon emissions. Try to stay away from next day delivery, as this is the least eco-friendly option. Stay safe and shop wisely.

For help to plan your spending this year, you can use the guide on money.co.uk which includes a gift budgeting tool.

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