Black Friday spending spikes in Europe over 500%

The U.K. accounted for the most European online sales over Black Friday weekend.

Although Black Friday has been a huge opportunity for retailers for several years, the shopping holiday is just coming to fruition in Europe. According to Ingenico Group, online spending in Europe on Black Friday increased by 509% over a typical Friday in 2017. This increase was more than three times higher than growth in the U.S.

Looking at the Black Friday weekend as a whole, U.S. transactions processed by Ingenico from Nov. 24 to Nov. 27 were relatively the same, with a small increase on Cyber Monday. Compared to an average weekday in 2017, sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were up 105% and 143%. 

“Even though the increases in consumer spending across Black Friday and Cyber Monday were not as dramatic in the U.S. as previous years, the record amount of growth across Europe in 2017 is encouraging for global merchants,” said Joe Leija, general manager ePayments, North America, at Ingenico Group, in a release. “It is important to look closely at this information because it offers a direct line of sight into global consumer shopping behaviors and preferences. As online commerce continues to drive retail forward, Ingenico is proud to offer solutions that enable merchants to meet the demands of the holiday shopping season anytime, anywhere.”

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Since infiltrating Europe, the shopping holiday is now known as the e-commerce festival, which lasts six days, and the leading sales came out of the U.K. in 2017. 

“With retailers competing to launch their discount campaigns first, and consumers rushing to snap up the best deals, ‘Black Friday’ has now extended into a full weeklong event,” Gabriel de Montessus, vice president of retail global product and marketing for Ingenico Group, told FierceRetail. “Cyber Monday was still one of the biggest e-commerce days of the year, but sales fatigue appears to have hit consumers who, this year, expended more energy and budget on earlier discount offers.”

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So what do these numbers mean for U.S. merchants selling abroad over the holidays?

“In 2018, U.S. retailers have a clear opportunity to expand their festive campaigns across Europe, providing they have the right payments infrastructure in place. Payment preferences vary hugely across the continent, and retailers should ensure they put customers at ease by localizing to reflect languages and shopping cultures," de Montessus added.