Peak Season Forecast Part II: Media/Electronics shopper base to grow most, while consumers’ preferences for casual looks to define Black Friday and Cyber Monday Fashion purchases

In this second part of a general Peak Season forecast, we look at the product categories that consumers in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom aim to shop at during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the biggest sales events this Peak Season. Which categories are expected to have the highest share of shoppers? And which categories can expect the highest uplift in shoppers, compared to online shoppers ‘normal behavior’?

Our survey results indicate that a significantly large share of consumers intends to shop Media/Electronics during Black Friday and Cyber Monday than usual - a confirmation of the product mix that we traditionally see during these sales events. While the prospect of high discounts in this category currently attracts consumers to the category and overall purchase events, this also means consumers’ expectations of these aspects for Black Friday and Cyber Monday are high.

For merchants, it is essential to tap into consumers’ high expectations of Peak Season by providing information on products and discounts early on, enabling them to lock in and secure consumers’ valuable purchase intentions.

Besides Media/Electronics, Fashion/Cosmetics is a top performing product category during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Which types of Fashion do consumers plan to buy this year? Will we finally say goodbye to casual wear 24/7 as societies return to normal? Read on to find out. 

The Netherlands: Media/Electronics shopper base to grow most on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, followed by Household and Home Improvement purchases

Zooming in on Dutch Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers (respectively 26% and 8% of Dutch consumers), we see that Media/Electronics is expected to be the top selling category amongst these shoppers during both events: 47% of Black Friday and 54% of Cyber Monday shoppers state they will shop in this category during the respective sales events. But not only is Media/Electronics expected to attract the largest number of shoppers, we can also expect it to have the highest uplift compared to Dutch consumers’ ‘normal’ shopping behavior. Normally, around 20% of Dutch consumers shop Media/Electronics in any given month. Besides Media/Electronics, we can also expect Household/Home Improvement purchases to experience a significant uplift; normally, around 15% of Dutch consumers shop in this category but we can expect this to increase to 35% during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Fashion/Cosmetics is expected to be the second most popular category during Black/Cyber Week in the Netherlands as 43% of consumers intend to shop. Although this is a large share of consumers, the uplift for -Fashion – e-commerce’s biggest online category – is significantly lower than for Media /Electronics and Household/Home Improvement.

The impact of Black/Cyber week is expected to be smallest on the Food/Health Food (normally the second largest online category in the Netherlands) and Travel/Tickets categories, with the expected share of shoppers at a similar level as normal.

Germany: Black Friday sees Fashion as biggest grower in shopper base, while Media/Electronics leads on Cyber Monday

In Germany, Black Friday shoppers (41% of consumers) are expected to make most of their Black Friday purchases in Fashion/Cosmetics: 47% of the German Black Friday shoppers intend to purchase in this category. And 45% of German Black Friday shoppers intend to purchase in Media/Electronics. However, the ‘normal’ share of shoppers who shop Fashion/Cosmetics – the biggest product category in e-commerce - is 32%; the relative uplift for Fashion/Cosmetics is lower than for Media/Electronics.



Amongst German Cyber Monday shoppers (12% of consumers), Media/Electronics is expected to be the top selling category: 52% of Cyber Monday shoppers intend to buy Media/Electronics on Cyber Monday. Media/Electronics is also expected to have the highest uplift of shoppers on Cyber Monday; the ‘normal’ shopper share in this category is 20%. Media/Electronics is followed by Fashion, where 37% of Cyber Monday shoppers intend to make a purchase on Cyber Monday.

The impact of Black/Cyber week is expected to be smallest on the Food/Health Food categories. Normally the second largest online category in Germany, attracting 30% of consumers, shares of consumers intending to purchase are expected to drop to 20% during Black/Cyber week.

Norway: Media/Electronics shopper base to increase most on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Fashion/Cosmetics still drive overall e-commerce

Looking at Norwegian Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers (respectively 40% and 11% of consumers), we see that Fashion/Cosmetics is expected to be the largest product category in terms of shopper share on both Black Friday (44% of shoppers) and Cyber Monday (40% of shoppers). Media/Electronics comes in at a close second place: 40% of shoppers intend to purchase on Black Friday and 37% on Cyber Monday.

The highest uplift can be expected in Media/Electronics: around 40% of shoppers intend to purchase during Black/Cyber week. In comparison, the normal shopper share for this category in Norway is at 15%. While Fashion/Cosmetics in normal circumstances is the by far largest online category in Norway, attracting 28% of online shoppers, the uplift on this category during Black/Cyber week is to be considered more modest at 40% of shoppers or just above.

United Kingdom: Media/Electronics to lead increase of shopper base on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Media/Electronics is expected to be the leading category amongst British Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers (respectively 30% and 10% of consumers). Of the shoppers who intend to shop at these events, 46% of consumers intend to shop Media/Electronics on Cyber Monday and 47% intend to do so on Black Friday. Fashion/Cosmetics comes in second place, where 33-34% of UK shoppers intend to purchase during Black/Cyber week.

Not only is Media/Electronics expected to be the largest selling category in terms of shoppers, but it is also expected to have the highest uplift on Black/Cyber week compared to all other categories: the ‘normal’ share of consumers making a purchase in the category is around 21%, increasing to almost 50% of shoppers during Black/Cyber week. Just like in the Netherlands and Germany, the uplift on Fashion/Cosmetics – although it is the largest category in e-commerce - is expected to be significantly lower. 33-34% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers intend to purchase Fashion/Cosmetics during Black/Cyber week, compared to a ‘normal’ share of 28%.

The impact of Black/Cyber week is expected to be smallest on the Food/Health Food categories. Normally the largest online category in the United Kingdom, attracting 38% of consumers, shares of consumers intending to purchase are expected to stay relatively unchanged during Black/Cyber week.

Deep diving into Fashion: the majority of consumers intend to buy casual wear from regular priced brands

The average consumer intends to buy casual Fashion from regular brands during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This intention is similar to our finding in September 2020. However, we do see some changes in consumers’ priorities this year and differences between countries. Norwegian Fashion Shoppers, for example, have the strongest focus on formal wear: 45% of consumers state that they will buy mostly casual wear, a finding that remains unchanged compared to a year ago.

In Germany and the Netherlands, the preference for casual wear has weakened: in 2020, around 66% of German and Dutch Fashion Shoppers stated they aimed to buy mostly casual wear, and this share has dropped to 57% and 58% in 2021, respectively.

And of all nationalities, British Fashion Shoppers are the most casual wear focused: 66% intend to buy casual Fashion and only a mere 8% of consumers aim to buy mostly formal wear, the lowest share across all countries.



Regarding price point, we see stable preferences in Norway and Germany in 2021 compared to 2020. Norwegian Fashion Shoppers are still the least Luxury/Premium focused. But Dutch Fashion Shoppers have a higher intention to purchase Luxury/Premium brands, coming at the expense of buying more regular priced brands. Of all Fashion Shoppers, those in the United Kingdom are the most Luxury/Premium focused of all.

What is next?

Continuing our Peak Season series, we will next dive into the customer journey during Peak: how do consumers get inspired to purchase? Which channels do they prefer to use during which stages of the purchase process? Stay tuned to find out.