2020 Sales Events Recap: ~58% of consumers made at least one purchase during Peak Season and 8 out of 10 shoppers state Black Friday had the best deals

Peak Season is now officially behind us. How did Dutch, German and Norwegian consumers shop? What did they buy? We previously recapped how consumers shopped during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But we are now also able to look back at consumers’ Peak Season shopping over the entire holiday period, so including Christmas. Did the Christmas Sales top Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping? During which sales events do consumers think they made the best deal? AfterPay Insights decided to find out.

The majority of consumers purchase in Peak Season; Black Friday is King

A majority of all consumers took advantage of the different sales leading up to Christmas. In the Netherlands and Germany, 54% of consumers purchased on at least one of the sales, the corresponding share among Norwegian consumers is 62%.

Of all sales moments, Black Friday is the largest sale in all three countries. Our newest data and analytics even reveal that a larger share of consumers actually made a purchase during Black Friday and Cyber Monday than the share that intended to do so. This resulted in a significant growth of the sales events compared to 2019, both sales events managed to attract +10% more consumers in 2020. This further establishes Black Friday as the true ‘king of sales’. We need to note that besides Black Friday’s ‘organic’ growth, societal developments and lockdown measures also impacted e-commerce developments.

In the Netherlands, 31% of all consumers make at least one purchase on Black Friday. The second largest purchase event was the ‘just before Christmas sale’; 17% of Dutch consumers purchase here.

In Germany, 36% of consumers make a Black Friday purchase. 13% of German consumers purchase on Cyber Monday , making it the second most popular sale. A relatively low share of consumers takes advantage of the ‘just before Christmas’ sale (3%) – this is significant for Germany.

In Norway, 45% of consumers purchased on Black Friday. Similar to Germany, the just before Christmas sales is the second largest purchase event with 16% of consumers buying. What sticks out in Norway is the large share of consumers that made an after Christmas sale purchase (13% of consumers).

Black Friday was the biggest sales event because consumers got the best deals

We asked consumers to indicate during which event they got the best deal. The results are same in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway: 8 out of 10 shoppers who have Black Friday in their shopping repertoire say that this it is the best event for getting good deals.

Shoppers in the Netherlands are fond of the St. Nicholas or ’Sinterklaas’ sale: 27% of consumers who shopped on St. Nicholas state it offers the best deals. And consumers in the Netherlands view the ‘After Chrismas’ sale as equally attractive in terms of making a good deal, even though only 5% of Dutch consumers made a purchase on this event.

In Germany, Singles’ Day and Prime Day perform relatively well from a ‘getting the best deal’ perspective. And since only 4% and 8% of consumers, respectively, made a purchase on these sales events, there is a potential for these to grow in 2021.

And in Norway, 65% of all consumers who had the ‘After Christmas’ sale in their purchase repertoire state this event had the best deals, a number that is not far behind the performance of Black Friday. This is also the reason for the ‘After Christmas’ sale being relatively large in Norway: 13% of consumers shopped during this event.

What is next?

Next up is an analysis of consumers' Christmas gift shopping. Did they buy more gifts in 2020 than in 2019? And was self-gifting a large driver behind Christmas shopping? Find out in our next blog post.