The Global Black Friday Report: Trends, Data, Strategy

Black Friday may have started in America, but it’s growing in popularity across the world. In the Criteo Holiday Report, we dove into the sales data from 2017 to ...
Updated on January 29, 2019

Black Friday may have started in America, but it’s skyrocketing in popularity in many places across the world. In the Criteo Holiday Report, we dove into the sales data from 2017 to find out just how much global retailers and shoppers are embracing the phenomenon. From sales peaks to mobile share of sales and website traffic, the interactive Criteo Seasonal Sales Dashboard reiterates the same theme: Black Friday is sweeping the planet*.

In 2018, we expect Black Friday to be bigger than ever, from Sydney to São Paolo, Manchester to Munich, and lots of places in between. Here’s what we discovered:

Black Friday Around the World

Specific to Australia, Click Frenzy, a day initiated by retailers to jump start Christmas sales, continues to be more important than Black Friday though perhaps not for long:

  • Black Friday showed higher growth rates than Click Frenzy (Nov. 14) and seems to be taking sales from Click Frenzy.
  • Mobile share: 47% of online retail sales for Click Frenzy and 57% for Black Friday.

In Australia last year, we saw retail sales spike on Black Friday (+161%) as well as on Cyber Monday (+135%). Sales also spiked on November 14th, Click Frenzy, at +113%.

Black Friday Around the World

With the Brazilian economy challenged, and consumer confidence rocked, Criteo saw that shoppers held back spend for the deals to come. Shoppers were so eager to upgrade their TV sets to smart TVs and 4K UHD that on Black Friday, malls were flooded. Criteo data shows that in Brazil:

  • Black Friday showed a substantial spike in online retail sales, compare to the average in October.
  • Mobile share: 33% of online retail sales on Black Friday, compared to 49% during the weekend following.

In Brazil, we saw an incredible retail sales spike on Black Friday (+1053%) while website visitors grew by 433%.

Black Friday around the world

The UK is dealing with the learnings from 2015, when Black Friday caught merchants by surprise and disappointed shoppers with inadequate inventory stocks. Retailers have figured out Black Friday, and Criteo saw dramatic sales spikes that day:

  • Average basket size: £132, and the average item price was £67, the highest of the Festive Season thus far.
  • Mobile Share: 56% of online retail sales on Black Friday versus 62% on the weekend.
  • Cyber Week II: 50% increase in product detail page views for Boxing Day, Dec. 26th, the traditional start of winter discounting. 71% increase in the number of shoppers who added a product to a basket that day.

Criteo data also shows how the UK saw retail sales spike by a whopping +361% on Black Friday in 2017, with another spike on Cyber Monday (+220%).

Black Friday Around the World

The French government mandated that terms need to be translated into their language, but this year in France, retailers chose to use the American term for Black Friday sales. You can see this reflected in top retail search terms for the week of Black Friday: “Black Friday iPhone” and “Black Friday Informatique” were the top searched terms from leading consumer electronics sellers.

  • Mobile share: 35% of online retail sales on Friday, 39% during the weekend.
  • Cart sizes were an average of €177 and the average product sold cost €83.

In France, we saw a 319% increase in Black Friday sales in 2017 and retail website traffic more than doubled (+219%).

Spain loves Christmas, and the holiday shopping season clearly starts early as people are buying for loved ones:

  • Black Friday saw the share of mobile traffic up 54%, with indexed visitors up by 169%.
  • Mobile share: 41% of online retail sales on Friday, 50% during the weekend.

Criteo data for Spain showed an enormous 541% increase in sales on Black Friday 2017. Nearly half of those sales (41%) were on mobile.

Germans have a tradition of the Christmas market: beautiful street markets that encourage browsing and add to the festive mood. And now the Christmas market is coming online, likely due to its convenience (open 24/7) and the great deals offered.

  • Black Friday 2017 saw online retail site visitors nearly double compared to October (+88%), with the share of mobile traffic at +58%.
  • Mobile share: 47% of online retail sales on Friday, 50% during the weekend.

In Germany, retail sales more than tripled on Black Friday 2017 (+205%), and over half (52%) of those came from mobile.

The Netherlands has a distinct ecommerce culture, with the dominant ecommerce company. Amazon only launched there in 2014. Black Friday shows dramatic increases in shopping activity over October:

  • Black Friday saw over 2.3x the numbers of shoppers online and over 3.3x the number of sales compared to the average day in October.
  • Cyber Monday: Online retail sales increased by 131%.

Netherlands saw retail sales increase by 238% on Black Friday in 2017. Nearly half came from mobile (47%).

Italy has less reliance on large-scale retailers and relatively lower levels of ecommerce growth than other countries in Europe, but Black Friday is definitely becoming a phenomenon:

  • Black Friday: +338% in sales compared to the average day in October.
  • Mobile share: 35% of those sales came from mobile.

In Italy, retail sales more than tripled on Black Friday in 2017 (+338%) and nearly doubled on Cyber Monday (+160%).

Black Friday around the world

While Golden Week is still a much bigger annual event, Black Friday has been growing, despite the fact that there are no national holidays associated with it.

  • Black Friday: Online sales nearly doubled in 2017 compared to the average in October, with over half coming from mobile (53%).
  • Sales showed double-digit increases over that entire weekend.

In Japan last year, retail sales spiked on both Black Friday (+98%) and Cyber Monday (+83%).

To Win Black Friday, Do This:

1. Optimize your website and app for mobile.

Mobile commerce is growing strong, and it’s only gaining ground. Responsive design, carts that are persistent across devices, and the ability to call up online accounts at in-store registers are all becoming the norm. Be sure your mobile presence is ready to make the most of all the on-the-go opportunities.

2. Improve conversions with personalization.

The smartest retailers and brands are building longtime customer loyalty by creating the personalized, connected customer experiences across channels and devices. But in order to achieve this, only a collaborative approach to marketing will do. Since a lack of data translates to an incomplete view of the shopper, you need the largest possible data sets to connect online and offline behavior.

3. Make more instants that matter.

Shoppers who experience the best of your brand at every touchpoint are able to find whatever, whenever they wish. Connect with your customers no matter the time of day, day of the week, or season of the year, and look forward to being part of all the important moments in their lives — ones filled with discovery, joy, hope, excitement, and even love. Black Friday 2018 is just the beginning.

To learn about Black Friday’s impact in other countries, and for more holiday research and insights, download The Criteo Holiday Report: Moments, Trends, Research below!

Holiday Shopper 2018

*Criteo Seasonal Sales Dashboard baseline: Index values are compared to average in October 2017.

Michelle Pruett

As Global Head of Content at Criteo, Michelle leads a high-performing, multi-disciplinary team of marketers packaging insights, copy, design, and video into integrated campaigns. Her own writing has been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, AdWeek, eMarketer, and more. Before joining the ...

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