When looking at emerging markets and beyond, the sales holidays remain among the biggest events of the year for growth-minded e-commerce leaders. What are the key predictions for this year’s Black Friday?
The shift in online consumer behaviour and shopping preferences has been noticeable around the world, with some markets becoming hubs of e-commerce innovation for global merchants. As we near Black Friday, brands are preparing for an influx of consumers using new technology to save on products and services, and we have some key predictions for this year.
For 2022, at a global level, industry forecasts indicate that between November 1 and December 31, online buyers are expected to spend over USD 209 billion on holiday shopping. Black Friday alone is forecast to generate nearly USD 9 billion in online sales.
As the overall global outlook is spelling bad news from a macroeconomic standpoint, the challenging economic environment and its consequences may take its toll on customer spending appeal during this year’s shopping season. This is a trend which is present across emerging markets and beyond. In fact, top concerns among global shoppers are centered around rising inflation (cited by nearly 30% of respondents in a global study) and the effect of economic uncertainty (18.3%) on the one hand, but also around factors related to customer finances, with lack of savings (11.6%), loss of earnings (11.5%) and lack of available credit (8.6%).
In the US, a market where payment technologies and e-commerce have been key to driving digital maturity for years, industry estimates indicate a 6% increase in holiday spend year-over-year, from USD 1,014 registered last year.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most important days on the retail calendar, with 60% of holiday shoppers planning to make online purchases during Black Friday, while 51% plan on shopping on Cyber Monday.
Echoing global consumer concerns, US holiday shoppers are most worried about inflation (85%), stockouts (63%) and shipping delays (57%). Interestingly, low-income shoppers plan to spend more, especially in categories including electronics and home, and thus returning to pre-pandemic shopping levels. Deloitte research indicates an estimated 25% increase in low-income spending, from USD 536 in 2021 to USD 671 this year.
UK consumers are expected to spend a total of GBP 8.71 billion over the course of the Black Friday weekend, with GBP 4.81 billion spent online.
Consumers are expected to spend GBP 283 on average, having the Internet as the key shopping channel (53%) versus in-store (29%). Seeking the biggest discounts (cited by 27% survey respondents) and taking advantage of free returns (25%) represent the most significant drivers for Black Friday spending.
For Black Friday, PayU’s predictions confirm that the event is reaching maturity levels on key emerging markets across the globe. PayU estimates positive increases in high-growth countries, which once again confirms high interest in one of the most important shopping events of the year.
PayU forecasts a 15% growth in the number of online transactions in Romania, a country which has developed Black Friday traditions of its own by holding its designated event almost 2 weeks earlier than most other countries.
Products and services worth approximately RON 510 million will be purchased and paid online, slightly above 2021 levels. Notably, one-click payment will account for approximately 67% of all paid transactions on Black Friday 2022, up with 8% year-on-year, and the average value of installment purchases is expected to double from an ordinary day.
Maintaining the upward trend of online transactions is due to the confidence of consumers to purchase on Black Friday not only from IT&C or fashion products, but also from other categories, such as coffee, perfumes & cosmetics, toys, medical services or tourist packages.
In the past 4 years, PayU witnessed a 16% CAGR growth in total payment volumes during Black Friday. As economic pressures persist, consumers will be spending wisely as the possibility of a recession looms. This trend will be reflected in a slight drop in the average e-commerce basket value estimated for this year, as compared to R1,423 average basket size in 2021, and R1,522 in 2020. However, “following the trend from 2020-2021, we expect about a 10% growth despite the current climate – and this is a conservative estimate”, as stated by Karen Nadasen, PayU South Africa CEO.
Groceries and basic consumable goods are expected to be on consumers’ radar and among top performing verticals. As for luxury goods, we expect an increase between 8% and 10% year-over-year.
Last year, the positive dynamics within local e-commerce landscape were driven by over USD 537 million in sales registered in November 2021 only and a USD 63 average basket size on Black Friday. Additionally, transactional levels have been on an upward since last year, increasing between 1.5% and 2% month over month. All these translate into positive expectations for November this year for the local market. Thus, we expect a 25.2% growth in online sales year-over-year, with a similar percentage increase (23.3%) in the number of transactions during the same interval.
As the last quarter of the year usually presents an increase in sales and transaction volume, similar growth estimates are expected for Cyber Monday, as well. However, it is important to consider key factors such as inflationary pressure and an increasingly higher dollar ($4.99), which will have a direct impact on prices for products in key relevant verticals such as technology, shoes and apparel, hotel and tourism.
While inflation and economic uncertainty may be the headline-grabber this year, innovation within the payments landscape will remain key, making e-commerce more accessible to previously overlooked markets.
Customers will prioritise purchases from merchants that are equipped with the right payment mix and offer streamlined checkout journeys. For new customers that are shopping online for the first time, the presale-registration process with a merchant can be time-consuming and may deter some buyers from making purchases. This is where we see one-click payments growing in popularity.
On the merchant side, in order to fine-tune their online sales strategy and make sure their business is ready to take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, payments and transactions will need to be aligned with the supply chain. What’s more, once Black Friday starts, e-commerce platforms must keep staff updated on what needs to be packaged in the warehouse and shipped at a specific time. New and emerging technology can solve these challenges for merchants. As Black Friday moves slowly away from an in-store experience, this offers an opportunity for merchants to embrace new and emerging technology and payment methods that can benefit both businesses and customers alike.
Last but not least, sustainability remains one of the key factors influencing consumers’ buying decisions, raising merchants’ brand awareness among Millennials and Gen Zers, who inspire other age groups to act more sustainably.
Black Friday is embedded as a key date in the retail calendar for global merchants. While this year’s event will present new challenges to overcome, against the backdrop of increasing innovation in the payments space and the accelerated acceptance of e-commerce around the world, this year’s event remains of high interest for both merchants and consumers across the globe, with emerging markets paving the path for new growth opportunities in this space.