During the first half of November, 49% of Norwegian consumers state that they will make at least one purchase on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. This is significanly higher than in Germany and the Netherlands where purchase intent levels are at 41% and 36% respectively. And even though Black Friday is more than three times the size of Cyber Monday and has almost twice the conversion rate from awareness to intended purchase, the expected relative growth compared to last year is significantly higher for Cyber Monday at +75% vs. +31% for Black Friday. We also see that, in terms of the share of consumers in Norway who intend to buy, cross-purchasing between these two events is significant, as 79% of consumers who intend to purchase on Cyber Monday also intend to purchase on Black Friday.
The development of consumer awareness and purchase intent of these two events is very stable during the past two months: Norwegian consumers decide early on if they would buy on these events or not. But consumers aiming to purchase become slightly more decisive in what they intend to buy. Consumers who aim to purchase on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the younger demographic, with the major difference being that Cyber Monday Shoppers are significantly more digital in nature and have already switched general purchase behavior from offline to online to a higher degree. The share of Heavy Shoppers (making 5 or more online purchases on a bi-weekly basis) is 22% among Cyber Monday Shoppers, and 15% among Black Friday Shoppers as well as among the Norwegian population in general.
The relative share of Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shoppers who aim to shop Electronics/Telecom is expected to double compared to ‘normal’ shopping behavior. Among intended purchasers on each of these events, 34% state they will likely buy Electronics, while the general percent of Electronics shoppers (as measured during the first half of November) was at 14%. We can also expect an amplified share of shoppers in Fashion during Black Friday (36% of intended shoppers vs. 26% in general), but during Cyber Monday the share of shoppers in Fashion is expected to be significantly lower than average at 19%. Within Fashion, we also see that the expected purchases in Norway will be more focused on formal wear and specific occasions compared to the purchase intentions among German and Dutch fashion shoppers.
In analyzing the development in Black Friday and Cyber Monday awareness and purchase intent rates over time, we don’t see any significant development during the past two months, i.e. consumers knew early on if they were going to buy on these events or not.
During the first half of September, 83% of Norwegian consumers are aware of Black Friday and 46% state they will make at least one purchase. Levels for Cyber Monday are lower, where 42% of Norwegian consumers are aware and 14% intend to purchase.
In addition to Black Friday being significantly larger than Cyber Monday in attracting consumers, Black Friday also performs dramatically better in converting aware consumers to actually intending to make a purchase. Of all Norwegian consumers aware of Black Friday, 55% intend to make a purchase – and the same conversion rate for Cyber Monday is only at 33%.
But comparing vs. last year, we can expect Cyber Monday to have a significantly higher relative growth rate compared to Black Friday. According to our data, 35% of Norwegian consumers purchased on Black Friday last year vs. 46% intending to purchase this year, resulting in an expected relative growth of +31%. And since only 8% purchased on Cyber Monday last year and 14% intend to do so this year, the corresponding growth rate for Cyber Monday is expected to be +75%.
Consumers who intend to buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are characterized by their younger age. Among consumers intending to buy on Black Friday, 58% are in the 18-44 age bracket, and the corresponding share among those intending to buy on Cyber Monday is 68%, which can be compared to the general population where the 18-44 age group comprise about 45% of Norwegian consumers. Consumers who aim to purchase on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are younger and over-represented when it comes to having kids at home, working full-time and thereby also having a generally higher disposable income.
The major difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shoppers is that consumers aiming to purchase on Cyber Monday are significantly more digital in nature and make more online purchases compared to Black Friday Shoppers.
Looking at overall online shopping behavior, the share of Heavy Shoppers (i.e. normally making 5 or more online purchases on a bi-weekly basis) is 22% among Cyber Monday Shoppers – compared to 15% among those intending to purchase on Black Friday as well as among the Norwegian population in general. In addition, we also see that of total consumer expenditure across physical stores and online, Cyber Monday Shoppers currently spend 50% online. And the corresponding share among Black Friday Shoppers is 44%. What specifically attracts Cyber Monday Shoppers’ to online channels is the large selection of products as well as the convenience that online shopping offers.
During the first half of November, 46% of Norwegian consumers state they will make at least one purchase on Black Friday, 14% say they intend to buy on Cyber Monday and 11% state they will purchase on both events. It is evident that these two events dominate pre-Christmas shopping, as a total of 49% of Norwegian consumers intend to purchase items on at least one of the events.
Even though Black Friday is more than three times the size of Cyber Monday in terms of the share of consumers in the Norway that intend to buy on the respective events, cross-purchase levels between the two sales events is significant. Among the 14% of Norwegian consumers who intend to buy on Cyber Monday, 79% also intend to buy on Black Friday. And vice versa; out of the 46% of Norwegian consumers who intend to buy on Black Friday, 24% also intend to buy on Cyber Monday.
Even though the purchase intent has not changed during the past two months working up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers who intend to purchase have gradually become slightly more decisive in what they intend to buy. During the first half of September, 57% of consumers who intend to purchase on either Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday have already planned what they would buy. By the first half of November, this share grows to 60%. Looking at this data from the other perspective, 40% of all Norwegian consumers who intend to buy on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday are still in ‘planning mode’. As this consitutes a relatively large market segment, there are opportunities here for merchants to capitalize on.
Well, those intending to buy on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday are, as we have concluded, concentrated to a younger demographic. Splitting these based on who have planned what they will buy vs. those that have not does not create any new key target to pursue. This is because the difference is quite small - the group who has deciced what they will buy is slightly younger and therefore also are a bit more digital. It is not surprising that online channels attract this segment more: online is not only more convenient, it also offers a wider selection of products and it is much more enjoyable. From a merchant perspective, these consumers also have a higher demand on flexibility, both from a speed of delivery perspective as well as a offering flexible returns.
Digging deeper into our data, we see no evidence suggesting that consumers who have planned what to purchase on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday are (more) driven by a risk perspective. I.e. purchasing Christmas gifts early to eliminate the risk of logistics failing and/or to eliminate risk that products might go out of stock.
Due to the significant overlap between consumers who intend to purchase on Black Friday amd Cyber Monday, and in order to understand which categories consumers aim for on the respective sales events, we singeled out consumers who aim to shop on Black Friday – but not on Cyber Monday and vice versa.
In line with Norwegian consumers’ (early) decisions to purchase during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they also knew quite early the general aim they had for their expected Fashion purchases. That is to say, the preference shares related to casual/formal wear, brands etc. have been very stable during the past two months of consumer tracking.
When it comes to types of Fashion, Norwegian consumers have a stronger focus on formal wear compared to the preferences of German and Dutch fashion shoppers. In Norway, 44% of fashion shoppers state they will mostly buy casual wear during Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. This can be compared to the intentions of German and Dutch fashion shoppers where two thirds are aiming for casual wear. Interestingly in Norway, the more you generally buy in Fashion, the less the focus is on ‘mostly casual wear’ (and the more focus is on formal wear).
The majority of of Norwegian consumers who intend to buy in Fashion will purchase from regular brands (63%). We see no significant correlation between Fashion purchase volume and the types of brands that Norwegian consumers’ intend to buy, however we do see differences between countries.
Stay tuned for an quick update on the current state of e-commerce before the biggest e-commerce weekend of the year kicks off.