The Real Deal on Black Friday Shopping

Without a doubt, Black Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year. What started as a single day has now stretched over an entire weekend ending with Cyber Monday. But, what are people buying during Black Friday, and are we really getting the bargains we hope for?

A Black Background with the words 'Black Friday on it in white and red text.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s undeniable that Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer some of the most enticing deals compared to any other sales event. With so many exciting discounts and offers going on, it can be tough to see where the value really lies, which can lead to impulse purchases and buyer’s remorse. In 2021, a Which? survey of 2,000 UK adults even revealed that the majority of people who bought a product during the sale regretted it.[1]

Although these events can hold persuasive deals, some offers aren’t always the bargains they seem. So, we’ve taken a look at data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2022 to uncover the best time to shop during this season and which categories offer the best deals. Read below to find out when you’ll save the most cash!

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

Despite the two events being separate, they’ve seemed to blend seamlessly ever since Black Friday began to span over a weekend. This mix of events can blur the lines between a good deal and a sour deal. So, which of the two offers the best bargains? 

Well, our research reveals that in 2022, UK shoppers saved an average of 13% on Black Friday.[2] However, only a few days later, the same products saw an increase in price of 19%. This revelation gives us a sense of which event holds the best deals for us shoppers. While Cyber Monday can still offer some worthwhile discounts, Black Friday tends to present a better bargain.

We also broke down the best-selling products from 12 categories to find out which one offers the most beneficial savings.  This uncovered that the category with the highest percentage of savings during Black Friday was beauty, followed by baby & kids, photography & video, and fashion. If you’re looking to spruce up your look, Black Friday is the day for you!

 Full results of price variances per category in 2022:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryAverage BF Savings %
Beauty-22%
Baby & Kids-17%
Photography & Video-16%
Fashion-16%
Business-14%
Health & Personal Care-13%
Home & Kitchen-12%
DIY & Tools-12%
Home Appliances-11%
Computers & Accessories-11%
Garden-10%
Grocery-6%

This matches with the types of vouchers shoppers like to use during Black Friday weekend. We found that a fifth (22%) of Black Friday weekend transactions were for fashion purchases.[3] With average savings of 16% during the sales event, it’s no surprise that shoppers are eager to snag those deals! 

 Top five categories for MyVoucherCodes in 2022:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Category% of Black Friday Weekend Transactions
Fashion22%
Sports Clothing8%
Perfume and Cologne6%
Jewellery5%
Hair, Skincare and Beauty5%

The Bestsellers in 2022[4]

Unsurprisingly, some of the most popular purchases during Black Friday were wireless earbuds, tablets, and laptops. This could be due to the way the event is advertised, as there’s often a heavy emphasis on technology and appliances. However, with only an 11% average savings in this category (around £7 per product), it’s clear that you might find superior deals elsewhere. 

When it came to home interest, it was dehumidifiers, vacuum cleaners and our increasingly beloved air fryers that were some of the most bought products. Home appliances saw the average buyer save 11%, while home and kitchen products were discounted by an average of 12%. This saved shoppers a combined average of £22 per purchase, so Black Friday might just be the time to consider home improvement!

Shopping Smart During the Sale Season

 The surge in Black Friday’s popularity has also made it a prime target for scams. In 2020, UK shoppers fell victim to fraudulent activities amounting to a staggering £2.5 million during the sales event, a 61% increase from 2019, as reported by Gwyn Topham at The Guardian.

Staying vigilant during these sales events is crucial. Here are some proactive measures you can take to protect yourself from potential scams:

  • Opt for payment methods like PayPal or credit cards for added security
  • Avoid shopping with retailers that you haven’t heard of previously
  • Be wary of spam emails with Black Friday offers attached
  • Compare prices across various retailers to ensure you’re getting the best deal
  • Keep an eye on the product prices leading up to Black Friday

 And remember, if a deal seems too good to be true - it probably is.

About this Data:

 [1] Which? surveyed 2,000 UK adults (18+) between 7th and 10th September 2021. This data was weighted to represent the UK population.

[2] All price data was extracted using Keepa’s Amazon price tracking system. The selection of categories was based on those for which MyVoucherCodes provides discounts. Products were selected from the “Best Sellers” category lists on Amazon UK during the period from September to October 2023. In total, 25 products were analysed for each category, resulting in 300 products overall.

[3] Data pertaining to the most popular categories for Black Friday purchases was extracted from MyVoucherCodes’s internal database based on transactions via myvouchercodes.co.uk between 00:00 25th November 2022 and 23:59 27th November 2022.

[4] Future Plc internal records of e-commerce affiliate sales across all Future Plc websites for Friday 25th November 2022. 

Sarah-Jane Outten
Editor

Hi, I’m SJ. I’m an editor and content executive here at MyVoucherCodes. I started my journey here as a deals expert which gave me the skills to become a money-saving expert. You can find my tips and recommendations in various publications including The Sun, The Mirror, and The Telegraph.

I gained a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2018, and I’ve put my writing skills into many projects since then. My portfolio at sarahjaneoutten.com includes my work with Cardiff Times, Buzz Magazine and more. 

I write poetry and short stories for pleasure and enjoy getting creative with watercolours and lino printing. I hope that I can merge my love of writing and art into a children's book in the future - watch this space!