ADI: Black Friday Tops The List For European Holiday Sales

Mobile will dominate European online spend this Christmas as Black Friday and Cyber Monday cannibalise sales from across November and December.

ADI: Black Friday Tops The List For European Holiday Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be the key growth drivers of holiday spending in Europe as they continue impacting seasonal shopping patterns.

According to the Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) report, released today, holiday spending in Europe will grow 10% this year, just below the US estimate of 11%. However, Black Friday itself has grown 124% over the past four years.

Growth in the UK and Germany will be 10%, increasing to $29.6bn and $25.0bn, respectively. French Holiday sales are forecast to grow 11% to $15.6bn.

ADI predicts that Black Friday, which overtook Cyber Monday as the top online sales day in 2014, will once again be the peak day across much of Europe.

“While there is growth in the holiday season overall, it’s not growing as fast as key dates such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday,” says Becky Tasker, Managing Analyst on ADI. “Total sales are up but they’re becoming more concentrated. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are cannibalising sales from elsewhere in the season, with around 10% of sales coming from other dates”.

The growth trend is particularly pronounced in the Nordic countries where Black Friday sales have increased by 187% since 2013 compared to 66% elsewhere in Europe.

In the UK market shoppers will buy 3.2 times the normal volume on Black Friday, making it the country’s biggest shopping day of the year. Combined UK sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are growing 50% vs. average annual sales, but it is the former which now dominates.

“The UK has changed its shopping pattern in what is a relatively short span of time, just two years,” says Tasker, with Black Friday now the kicking off point for holiday spend.

In other markets in Europe, especially Germany, Belgium and Austria, promotional events are having less of an impact. “Online shopping is extending later into the season, prompted by shipping and click-and-collect in store options,” says Tasker.

Convenience emerging as a driver

Price remains the number one reason for shopping online in Europe, according to an ADI survey of over 3,000 consumers in the UK, France and Germany, but there are signs that convenience is becoming a greater consideration for online shoppers.

“Results were mixed when we looked at convenience factors by country, with ‘no traffic/lines’ and the ability to ‘shop from work’ increasing in some countries more than in others,” says Tasker. “Lower prices, good deals and free shipping are still the top three, but there was a surge in convenience factors compared to last year.” This suggests shoppers may become more willing to spend more because of the convenience factors. “This is the first year we’ve seen a shift in consumer behaviours in that direction,” adds Tasker.

Mobile dominates

Globally, ADI predicts $1 in $4 of holiday spend will come from a mobile device this year, with smartphones the key driver.

Smartphone revenue is forecast to surpass tablet revenue in Europe for the first time, growing 134% over three years versus a stagnating performance by tablet.

Sales from smartphones will nearly double (+96%) in this holiday season and mobile browsing is expected to be up 60% over last year. Tablet traffic is expected to fall -2%, even as revenues increase 13%.

Despite the emerging dominance of smartphones, Europe continues to be a strong region for tablets in some key markets. In the UK tablets will account for almost as much spend among UK shoppers as smartphones (17% on tablet to 20% on smartphone). Similarly, in France smartphones will represent 11% of revenue versus 10% from tablets.

In every country, Christmas Day itself is the most mobile shopping day of the season, especially as customers turn to their smartphones. Globally, smartphones account for 58% more revenue on Christmas than on Cyber Monday and 34% more on than on Black Friday.

View the full report below, or click here to see it on SlideShare.