Research by performance marketing network Rakuten Marketing predicts Black Friday and ‘Cyber Week’ is set to a see a 14% year-on-year increase in sales globally.
That would make it the highest-earning event in the holiday sales date’s history, with online consumers becoming savvier to the increasingly competitive deals offered by retailers over the seven-day period.
According to Rakuten Marketing, Cyber Week can now be said to start the Monday preceding Black Friday, where the global number of orders placed was just 9% shy of those on the Friday according to data from last year. In the UK, Black Friday itself still delivers the greatest sales boost, with a 307% increase compared to the average retail day.
However, it’s not just consumers within the British Isles that retail marketers should be targeting this year; as sterling struggles to reclaim its pre-Brexit value, Rakuten Marketing has found a “huge interest” in consumers abroad buying from UK retailers during the global sales event.
Just under a quarter (24%) of sales through UK publishers on Black Friday are now driven by international shoppers, with the figure pitching up to 28% on Cyber Monday - and it’s not necessarily our closest neighbours, with consumers from the United States, Hong Kong and China making up 9% of this demand.
According to Mark Haviland, EVP global development and MD of Rakuten Marketing Europe, it’s only by marketing to an international audience that UK retailers will generate the biggest returns from this year’s sales peaks.
“We’ve already seen this year how brands including Burberry, known to be quintessentially British, have taken advantage of the weakness of the pound since the vote to leave the EU as tourists have flocked to buy products more cheaply in the UK,” he commented.
However, Haviland suggests UK brands looking to have a global presence should focus their efforts on Cyber Monday sales: “With so many US shoppers hurrying to take advantage of favourable exchange rates, on top of sales discounts, there’s an enormous opportunity to engage beyond the domestic market.”
Closer to home in Europe, Rakuten Marketing still noted a tendency to buy locally, with France (90%) and Spain (50%) keeping most sales domestic. Ireland, on the other hand, looks set to take advantages of the Brexit economy with a greater interest in converting in the UK.
Haviland concludes: “The stores that win the retail battle are the ones that challenge assumptions of fast-paced domestic demand and take the steps to look across borders to understand their different audiences and markets.”