Will Black Friday kill Sinterklaas?



By Gertjan Dewaele (Ingenico)

Ingenico ePayments processed 29% more payments during this year’s Black Friday weekend compared to the same weekend in 2015. Over the course of the weekend, starting on Thanksgiving Day (24th November) in the US and finishing on Cyber Monday (28th November), we actually twice broke our record for most payments processed in a single day. 

For those who think this is a US only trend, it might be interesting to note that the increase in payments was primarily driven by strong growth in Europe. For instance, we saw the Belgian transaction volume increase by 25% on Black Friday and 16% on Cyber Monday. Looking across the border, Black Friday is also becoming more popular within our neighbors: in the Netherlands + 91% on Black Friday, in France +56% and in Germany +25%. By comparison, the United States saw only minor growth year-on-year.

Compared to previous years, online shopping this year was much more evenly spread over the entire weekend. For many European markets, the two days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday also register among the busiest online shopping days of the year to date. In the United States, online shopping is still most popular on Cyber Monday, with Black Friday sales historically more brick and mortar focused.  

So, what is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since 1952, it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the U.S. Cyber Monday is Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday and created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. On these dates, large (online) retailers typically do large marketing campaigns and give big discounts. In the US, Black Friday led to 3.3 billion dollar of online sales, followed by 3.45 billion $ on Cyber Monday

Even if we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe, Black Friday has recently become popular with retailers all over Europe.  And we can expect this upwards trajectory to continue in the coming years as more ecommerce retailers seize the opportunity to start the year-end holiday shopping season with a big event!

What’s next? Perhaps the Chinese Singles’ day?

Just weeks before Black Friday / Cyber Monday, Singles' Day Sale or “11/11”( November 11th)  has become the largest online shopping day in the world, with sales over $17.8 billion! Singles Day is an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people, to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single and buy lots of gifts (often online, within the Alibaba websites). Thus far, this is mainly a Chinese trend, but surely this will soon start to hit the western markets as well. So be ready for next year and think about Singles’ Day sales for 2017!

About the author

Gertjan Dewaele is leading the Innovation and Product Intelligence team within Ingenico ePayments. He has several years of experience in e-commerce, in several roles at Ingenico and is passionate about new trends in payments and in online consumer behavior. Prior to that, Gertjan worked in strategy consulting at the Boston Consulting Group and he holds a Master in Computer Science Engineering from Ghent University.
Ingenico ePayments is the online and mobile commerce division of Ingenico Group, built from two companies with a long history in e-commerce: Ogone and Global Collect. With its global capabilities and expertise, Ingenico helps merchants optimize their business and grow into new markets around the world.