Black Friday 2018: Traffic predictions across Europe

Article
by Sara Main on 22-11-18

As Black Friday morphs into ‘Black November’ across much of Europe, the traffic pattern into stores is changing, our data illustrates.

The chaotic one-off surge of Black Friday shoppers witnessed in 2014 is no longer a characteristic of this pivotal campaign season. However, most European countries can expect to see traffic uplifts against the average on November 23rd, and in many cases, the days in the run-up, and during the weekend afterwards too. Cyber Monday, (26th November) is all about online discounting, but there may be some knock-on effect in stores, as shoppers pop in to pick up ordered items.

“Consumers are demanding longer and longer periods of discounting, meaning Black Friday has evolved from a single day of discounts in 2014, to what was dubbed ‘Black Fiveday’ in 2017, to this year’s ‘Blackvember’ – where retailers, such as Amazon, have already started discounting early,” according to Steve Richardson, UK director at ShopperTrak.

Our message is: Use your historic data for essential foresight, and don’t risk missing this fantastic conversion-driving opportunity!

 

Country-by-country anomalies

There are anomalies country-by-country when it comes to traffic impact. For Instance in Poland, higher traffic levels can be expected for the whole of Black Friday week, our historic data suggests. Meanwhile in Italy the trend has been for a clear traffic uplift on Black Friday itself, with retailers not yet spreading out their deals as much as in other countries.

Overall, the trend in Europe is for an elongated Black Friday campaign, considered by retailers as a high-impact way to kick-start Christmas shopping. Consumers are coming to expect this, and it means that retailers can ease the pressure on stock management, delivery, click and collect, web traffic and footfall into stores, by stretching the event. As ever, the meticulously organised and well-resourced stores will deliver the best customer experience at this crucial point of the trading year.

UK

In the UK, uplifts in Black Friday traffic have started to decline year-over-year, our data confirms. While an uplift in traffic can still be expected, it will probably not be as high as it has been in previous years. Between 2014 to 2016, the average uplift in traffic was +32%, however this dropped to +25.5% in 2017. The likelihood is that Black Friday as a discounting event has been extended so that it lasts for several days, or in the case of some retailers, the whole of November.

 

For 2018, Saturday 24th November is likely to be the busiest stores day overall for Black Friday week, however the Sunday will see the biggest uplift against average traffic. This has been the case every year since 2014, with the exception of 2015 when Friday saw a larger uplift than Sunday (against the average).

Predictions:

  • Black Friday traffic to be up +20% against the average
  • Cyber Monday Traffic up +6% against the average

 

France

Black Friday traffic in France has remained largely stable over the past four years, with there being a +45% uplift in traffic on average. 2017 saw the uplift increase slightly from +46% in 2016, to +47% in 2017.

In 2017, Black Friday was 13% busier than 2016. In anticipation of Black Friday, average daily traffic generally starts increasing from Tuesday that week, with the biggest uplifts in average traffic being seen on Saturday – traffic up by an incredible +111% on average.

While Sunday traffic has always been down against the average, it is up massively from the previous week (over 600% on average).

There is little interest in Cyber Monday in France. In 2014 and 2015 traffic only fell by -1%, but this increased to -14% in 2016 and -10% in 2017.

Predictions:

  • Black Friday traffic to be up +45% against the average
  • Cyber Monday traffic to be down -8%

 

Spain

A small uplift in traffic can be expected on Black Friday itself and on the Sunday following it, but otherwise traffic for the week running up to it will be down against the average, our data suggests.

In 2014, Black Friday traffic was down by -8% against the average, but in the years following it was up by +11% on average. However, the uplift in traffic seen in 2017 (+9.8%) was slightly lower than that of 2016 (+13.3% in 2016).

For the past four years, Sunday traffic has seen a larger uplift than Black Friday traffic (although Friday traffic is higher overall). This can be seen especially in 2016 and 2017, when Sunday traffic was up by +65% on average.

There was a small drop in year-on-year traffic last year, with site visitor numbers falling by -3% when compared to 2016. Cyber Monday traffic also experienced a small YOY decline of -1.33%.

Predictions:

  • Black Friday traffic up +8%
  • Cyber Monday traffic down -30%

 

Italy

In recent years there has been little interest in Black Friday until the day itself (no uplift in traffic observed in the run-up to the day), upon which traffic sees a huge uplift.

The against average uplift in Black Friday traffic has increased in Italy every year over the past four years, increasing by +51% in 2014, but by +131% in 2017. A similar trend is observed with year-on-year traffic, with 2017 store visitor numbers increasing by +13.5% when compared to the prior year.

Following Black Friday, weekend traffic remains high, with Saturday up by an average of +27%, Sunday by an average of +9%.

While Sunday won’t see the largest uplift in traffic against the average, it will still be the busiest day overall, as is normal in Italy.

Predictions:

  • Black Friday traffic up +130%
  • Cyber Monday traffic down -20%

 

Ireland

Black Friday trends have fluctuated in Ireland over the past few years. Traffic has always seen an uplift, which steadily climbed during 2014 to 2016, but was slightly lower in 2017. This can also be seen year-on-year, with traffic dropping by -0.7% in 2017 when compared to the previous year. Additionally, year-on-year Cyber Monday traffic dropped by -5.4% in 2017.

 

Despite this, Black Friday traffic has outperformed Saturday for the past two years. Saturday has also seen a smaller uplift in traffic over the past two years.

While a small uplift can be expected on the Monday of Black Friday week, a small downturn can be expected on the Tuesday (average -2% over the past 4 years).

Predictions:

  • Black Friday traffic up +30%
  • Cyber Monday traffic up +9%

 

Germany

An uplift in traffic the day before Black Friday can be expected, although this uplift has decreased since its peak in 2015 (traffic was up +61% in 2015, +51% in 2016, and +26% in 2017).

Black Friday traffic has remained more stable however, averaging at +44% against the average. There was very little change in year-on-year traffic in 2017, with site visitor numbers increasing by less than +1%.

A smaller uplift can be expected on the Saturday, but again the uplift has steadily decreased since 2014 (+36% in 2014 compared to +9% in 2017).

Sunday traffic is minimal in Germany, so an uplift is unlikely; traffic has historically been down against the average over the past four years.

Predictions:

  • Black Friday traffic up +40%
  • Cyber Monday traffic up +2%

 

Poland

In Poland, higher traffic levels can be expected for the whole of Black Friday week. In 2016 and 2017, Black Friday saw the highest uplift in traffic for the week, but this wasn’t the case in 2014 and 2015.

Black Friday has steadily gained in popularity since 2014, with traffic increasing by +19% against the average in 2014, then by +54% in 2017. Black Friday will likely be the peak day of the week in 2018, based on trends from the past two years.

In addition to this, Black Friday 2017 saw a +9.5% increase in traffic when compared to Black Friday 2016. Cyber Monday has also remained popular, with traffic being consistently up by +19% against the average for the past four years.

Predictions:

 

  • Black Friday traffic up +50%
  • Cyber Monday traffic up +19%

 

ShopperTrak helps retailers plan for known trading peaks. Find out how traffic data can be used to identify trends and maximise seasonal opportunities in the retail space.

Schedule a demo here.

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