‘Average’ customer service on Black Friday costs retailers £1.9 billion in future sales

24th Nov 2017

Retailers stand to miss out on a whopping £1.9 billion* in future sales by not offering ‘excellent’ customer service on Black Friday, according to new research.

The figures released by The Institute of Customer Service reveal that shoppers who experience ‘excellent’ service during Black Friday last year are more likely to return to that retailer and make further purchases in the following 12 months.

The research also highlighted the extensive gap between those organisations who offer ‘excellent’ and ‘OK’ customer service. Of those customers who experienced excellent customer service, 94% shopped with that same retailer again, and spent an average of £201 over the next year. Those who experienced ‘average’ customer service were not only less likely (75%) to return, they also spent significantly less, at £158 over 12 months. 

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service comments: “Retailers should not view Black Friday simply as an opportunity to shift discounted stock: they must uphold a responsibility to ensure customers receive a high quality experience too.” 

Last year, 63% of people made a purchase on Black Friday according to the Institute’s research, with an average spend of £185, but many spend more. Brits are also more willing to part with their cash and spend money on big ticket items on Black Friday, with 50% of people spending between £100-£500 with one retailer last year.   

Black Friday purchases needn’t dent Christmas sales either - consumers are far more likely to treat themselves on Black Friday, making up more than half (54%) of Black Friday purchases, rather than buy Christmas presents for others. 

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service continues: “Our new research into the Black Friday customer experience reinforces the notion that ‘good is no longer good enough’, with ‘excellent’ service during Black Friday translating into £1.9 billion in subsequent sales for those retailers during the subsequent year.

“Canny retailers should take note: customers are for life, not just for Christmas. Those seduced by quick sales and chasing revenue will do themselves a long-term disservice by selling out short-term customers. This is not sustainable and Black Friday isn’t the answer to easing shareholder concerns.”

To find out more about how to deliver an excellent customer service experience, visit www.instituteofcustomerservice.com/


The Institute of Customer Service commissioned TLF Research to speak to 2000 consumers in May 2017. 

Notes to editors 

*Our sum explained: 

UK adults = 51.7m in total (ONS)

32% of Black Friday shoppers had excellent customer service = 10.4million shoppers

93% of these shopped again = 9.7m shoppers

They reported to spend a subsequent £201 each = £1.9 billion total ‘loyalty spend’ from this group

This is the amount retailers who don’t offer excellent service this Black Friday stand to miss out on.

For further information please contact:  

Rebecca Peck, Sophie Lanning, Bethan Davies

E: [email protected]

T: 020 7010 0826 (Sophie Lanning) 020 7010 0877 (Rebecca Peck), 0207 010 851 (Bethan Davies)

About The Institute of Customer Service

The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance. The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 500 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 4,000 individual memberships. For more information about The Institute of Customer Service go to www.instituteofcustomerservice.com

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