Will Black Friday 2021 online sales hit new heights?

We take a look at the numbers

23 Sep 2021

Believe it or not, we aren’t that far from staring 2021’s end square in the face. With the busy holiday season only a few months away, that means the kick-off of Black Friday is even closer. 

The well-known American tradition hasn’t always been a popular shopping event for Kiwi retailers, but in recent years, interest and participation have exploded. In 2020, Black Friday spending eclipsed Boxing Day in New Zealand as the year’s biggest discount day. 

With Black Friday 2021 on 26 November, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on Black Friday’s past – and what could be in store for online retailers this year. 

Looking back at 2020

With the global pandemic forcing many retailers to close their doors to the usual pandemonium of foot traffic, it was anyone’s guess how well Black Friday would perform. But amid lockdown restrictions and a panic-stricken economy, 2020 was undoubtedly the year that eCommerce sales boomed. 

Here’s how things shaped up in the US:

As proof that Black Friday is no longer just an American thing, that same pattern continued overseas, with the UK and Asia-Pacific regions (APAC) reporting increased online sales too. 

  • In the UK, there was a 23% increase in online sales, a 35% increase in online traffic but only a 2% increase in customer conversion rate.
  • In the APAC region, there was a 13% increase in online sales, a 10% increase in online traffic and a 2% increase in customer conversion rate.

So, how did Solutionists’ clients stack up?

In 2019, New Zealand’s online transactions on Black Friday increased by 21%. That rose to 27% in 2020, making it the country’s biggest Black Friday yet. 

Across the ditch in Australia, online purchases spiked during Black Friday 2020, with the ABS reporting a 42% increase over the same time the previous year.

In line with these statistics, our clients achieved some awesome results too:

  • Across Australia and New Zealand, we saw an increase in online revenue of 76% over the sales period, with the average conversion rate increase of 29% in 2019. 
  • During Black Friday, our top Australian clients saw an 80% increase in revenue on the previous year. 
  • Our top New Zealand clients saw an average revenue increase of 90% on Cyber Monday. 

This staggering amount of online spending shows that people are willing to spend more online. In today’s retail climate, this has replaced in-store purchases for many consumers, and with the convenience and access of online stores ever-growing, this will continue to nudge shopper interest to spend online. 

What’s on the horizon for 2021?

The ongoing effects of Covid have significantly changed the traditional retail environment. Retailers have pivoted quickly, which means there’s also ever-increasing online competition. 

Despite that, it’s predicted that Black Friday and Cyber Monday in New Zealand and Australia will continue to trend upwards by an estimated 20% year on year to hit $17 billion

Last year, many retailers saw significant drops in Black Friday foot traffic, but APAC was one of the few regions to see elevated levels across both online and in-store sales. 

Here are some things online retailers might want to consider when planning for Black Friday:

  • Longer sales period. What used to be a four-day shopping spree has evolved to become more of a sales season, and with the pandemic, it kicked off in late October last year to anticipate supply chain issues and late deliveries. We think that trend will be here to stay to entice shoppers, particularly those who don’t want to miss out.
  • Fierce online competition. With Amazon Australia now shipping to New Zealand, and other major online-only retailers like Mighty Ape and TheMarket dominating the eCommerce market, there’s never been more competition online than right now. This could drive discounts even higher.

As the busy holiday sales period draws near, these statistics and insights are encouraging, and we're excited to see the results of all our clients' hard work!

Black Friday has long marked the start of the holiday season, and to ensure each of our clients is set, the Solutionists team already has infrastructure updates underway. 

We will continue working our way through each of our clients to make sure that despite the changing landscape, it’ll be a successful shopping season for all!

Get your online store ready for the biggest online retail event of the year. Talk to the eCommerce experts at Solutionists – we’re always happy to chat. 



date published:

23 Sep 2021