Biggest Sale, Best Deals: Black Friday is here to stay

Ah, the end of January. Can you imagine only one month ago we were in the hectic days before Christmas listening to Mariah and Michael on the radio. Now we’re already three weeks into the new year, with Blue Monday even behind us. Since Peak Season is done and dusted, it is time to review the holiday sales events. Which of all these sales events are the number one in participation in 2021? Which product category has the most purchases? In in which event do consumers feel they scored the best deal? AfterPay Insights is about to reveal!

About half of all consumers snatch a deal during Peak Season

49% of Dutch and UK consumers say take advantage of at least one sales event. In Germany and Norway 51% of consumers to make a purchase during an event. These are high numbers on its own. Although we do see that 2020’s numbers are even higher. This does have to do with the anomaly of the first Pandemic-Peak Season. Since people already got used to the situation in 2021 and don’t worry so much anymore, we see a drop in online purchases. We see this in many different sales events of 2021.

Black Friday is the clear winner of all sales events

The American sales event that follows Thanksgiving, is well integrated with the European online shoppers. Just like in 2020, in all four countries Black Friday is the number one holiday sales event, by far. Norway is in the lead for Black Friday: 38% of Norwegian consumers say they take advantage of the sale and make at least one purchase. German consumers aren’t far behind: 35% of German consumers buy a Black Friday deal. The Netherlands take third place with 29% of consumers buying on the 26th of November. Last but not least: 26% of UK consumers say they make a purchase on Black Friday.

We often see that UK consumers are in the lead when it comes to high shares of online purchases, but this time they have the lowest number. This can be explained by the fact that UK online shoppers have a wider sales repertoire, and are less concentrated on Black Friday.

Second place in Holiday Sales Events varies in all countries

We see more differences per country. None of the countries share the same runner-up after Black Friday.

Dutch shoppers gear up their shopping late in the season

The Dutch tend to buy their gifts pretty late in the season, as seen in the Santa's Gift-O-Meter. That also shows in the current data on holiday sales event participation. The sale that happens Just Before Christmas, is where 15% of Dutch consumers buy. St Nicholas and his yearly sale strike up 13% of consumer that make at least one purchase. These two sales are strong ones in The Netherlands. After that comes Cyber Monday (8%) and the After Christmas sale (5%).

Singles Day is stable at 4% (just like in 2020). Halloween is still a small event in the Netherlands, both the celebration part as well as the sales event. Only 3% of Dutch consumers say they buy during a spooky sale.

Amazon’s Prime Day also comes in on 4% of Dutch consumers buying in the sale.Amazon is still relatively small in the Netherlands but is winning ground. Time will tell if Prime Day also grows along.
The biggest holiday sales event in The Netherlands is Black Friday (29%).

Prime Day grows strong in Germany

15% of German consumers take up the opportunity of a good deal on Prime Day. The holiday sales event is growing as 2020 only saw a share of 8%. This may have taken a little share off the Cyber Monday sale, as 2021 dropped to 11% vs 13% in 2020. But the Just Before Christmas sale also grows in popularity. The share of consumers buying here grows to 9% (vs 3% in 2020). Both St Nicholas- and After Christmas sales have a share of 5%, and Halloween and Singles Day obtain 4% of consumers that make a purchase.
The biggest holiday sales event in Germany is Black Friday (35%).

Norwegians seek for a deal After Christmas

The sale Just After Christmas is, after Black Friday (38%), a strong one. 10% of consumers say they buy during this sale. Cyber Monday declines a little in 2021 compared to 2020, with a share of 9% and 13% respectively. The sale Just Before Christmas also loses share and claims 8% of consumers (compared to 2020’s 16%). Halloween strikes up 6% and Singles’ Day holds on to 5%. The smallest sales event is Prime Day. 2% of Norwegian consumers buy at least once during this sale event.

UK consumers are more fragmented across sales events

Cyber Monday and Prime Day see a share of 11% of consumers that decide to buy something in the sale. But not far behind is the After Christmas Sale (10%) and the Just Before Christmas sale (9%). Halloween and Singles’ Day are a little smaller in share: 5% of UK consumers say they use these holiday sale event to make at least one purchase.
The biggest holiday sales event in The UK is Black Friday (26%).

The Best Deals happen on Black Friday

About 8 out of 10 shoppers say their Black Friday purchase is the best deal out of all sales events that they purchased on. Across all four countries we measure this. From our earlier infographic we learn that Black Friday shoppers score 2.7 deals on average. Media & Electronics (45%) and Fashion (42%) are the most popular categories during this sales event.

The After Christmas sales are also great for scoring a deal according to shoppers in The Netherlands (63%), Norway (53%) and the UK (65%), and takes second place. Germany is the odd one out here. Prime Day takes the silver according to German shoppers to score the best deal (51%).

The order of Best-Deal-events differ in all countries

Black Friday is number one. No doubt about that.



The Netherlands sees the best deals in Black Friday (78%) and After Christmas sales 63%). Prime Day is on the rise and 50% of shoppers claim the best deals occur on this day. Next in line are the Just Before Christmas sales (41%), Singles Day (38%), St Nicholas (37%), Cyber Monday (28%) and finally, Halloween (10%).

Germany’s preference is different. Black Friday (78%), Prime Day (51%) and Just Before Christmas sale (49%) are in the top 3 of best events for scoring deals. Places 4 to 8 are for the After Christmas sale (48%), Singles Day (35%), St Nicholas (29%), Halloween (26%) and Cyber Monday (16%).

Norway and the UK share the same preference when it comes to the order. The only differences lies in the percentages.
Norway’s Top 8: Black Friday (84%), After Christmas sale (53%), Halloween (48%), Prime Day (40%), Singles Day (38%), Just Before Christmas sale (36%) and Cyber Monday as occluding track (17%).
Newcomer to our tracker is the UK. Their preference is follows: Black Friday (72%), After Christmas sale (65%), Halloween (63%), Prime Day (52%), Singles Day (46%), Just Before Christmas sale (42%) and lastly Cyber Monday (34%).

What’s Next?

Soon we will return with the February Outlook. At the moment we are crunching the data to predict how Dutch, German, Norwegian and UK consumers plan to shop in the next month. How are the shoppers dividing their purchases over the online vs offline channels? Do we see any changes in the type of products this new year? And how do all these shoppers compare to one another in the four countries?

Stay tuned to learn more with us.