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How European merchants fared during Black Friday sales

Ingencio Group saw a significant increase in online transactions throughout Europe as a result of this year’s Black Friday shopping period – sales came from a range of industries, not just the retail sector.

2019 ONLINE TRANSACTION DATA

Analysing data from its online transactions, Ingenico confirmed that the volume of Black Friday sales increased by 11 per cent when compared with last year, totally 86 per cent more transactions than an average Friday. The average transaction value (ATV) was also higher at 135€. Since ATV had previously been on the decrease since 2016, the new rise is an indicator of the growing popularity of the event across the region – a positive sign for European eCommerce businesses wanting to take part in the future.

The run-up to Black Friday also saw increased transactions compared to last year. From Monday to Thursday, online transactions in Europe were up by 15 per cent from sales in 2018. Now cemented as a week-long shopping festival, Ingenico advises online businesses to leverage the sales to boost profits before the end of the calendar year.

Benoit Boudier, MD, SMB Online Europe from Ingenico, commented: This Black Friday turned into a week-long event where we processed more transactions for our merchants than ever before. With so many purchases being made across the world, and so much at stake, it is crucial that our payment platform has 100 per cent availability – meaning it is completely stable. The last thing merchants want is to lose their ability to process payments, even the loss of just one minute would mean thousands of transactions lost.”

Following the Black Friday rush, Ingenico also saw increased year-on-year sales during Cyber Monday, processing 15 per cent more transactions than in 2018. At midday, it was handling 28per cent more transactions than the same time last year, seeing highs of around 55 per cent more transactions than an average Monday.

Since Black Friday has become a worldwide event, wallpaper company, Graham & Brown, assessed its sales on a global level. Matthew Rabbitt, web operations manager, commented: “In the UK we actually had a slightly slower build-up to Black Friday, but the day itself was on par with our year-on-year achievements. We saw a really strong performance for all other markets – particularly North America – seeing significant growth in both Australia and Germany in comparison to last year, with a 30 per cent increase in each market.”

However, Woodhouse Clothing (a menswear boutique), anticipated more transactions from the region. Imran Khan, head of eCommerce, stated: “November has been a successful trading month for us – we delivered growth during Black Friday week (like for like trading) despite aggressive offers across the industry. There was a spike in sales from non-UK markets during Black Friday – sales were almost doubled week on week – but the demand from European markets wasn’t as high as we expected.”

Results from both Woodhouse Clothing and Graham & Brown highlight how these peak sales periods are not just about discounts for European shoppers, but rather the quality of the product and the customer experience.

Imran noted that: “Customers were holding back on purchases until Black Friday weekend, even though most retailers had week-long Black Friday promotions. We had a clear message that we won’t lower our prices on Black Friday which resonated well with our customers, and we benefited with uplift in sales leading up to Black Friday itself. It is very important that retailers communicate simple and clear messages during this busy trading period.”

Matthew added: “We continue to see strong sales across our entire wallpaper range, with spikes in some more seasonal products around this time of year, such as our stag wall art and tartan wallpaper which is performing better than usual.”

Similar results were seen from Spain-based fancy dress business, Funidelia, which has a strong cross-border proposition. CMO, Javier Ferraz Rives, said: “Black Friday went very well for us, we’ve had several days of very positive sales results – our best sellers were still La Casa de Papel and Ladybug costumes. We also had an increase in sales from Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland).”

For Netherlands-based Lampenlicht (an international lighting company), it was the successful preparation of processes that was celebrated once the peak sales week came to an end. Lucas Verhagen, CFO, commented: This year we did a Black Friday week for the first time to divide orders over the days. We made the right preparations with all departments, ready for the "Big Bang" that would come; so warehouse, customer service, IT and our IT partners were ready on full strength and standby. There were no hiccups on Black Friday – everything went well and sales increased in every market that we operate in.”

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