Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now a global phenomenon

Just as family dinners of turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving have been time-worn American traditions, Black Friday and, in the last few years, Cyber Monday have emerged as staples of the long holiday weekend, too.

Tue Dec 06 15:09:00 EST 2016
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Just as family dinners of turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving have been time-worn American traditions, Black Friday and, in the last few years, Cyber Monday have emerged as staples of the long holiday weekend, too. Every year without fail, thousands of shoppers across the country rush to brick-and-mortar stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and their favorite e-retailers on the following Monday, to score the best deals and get a jump on the holiday shopping season. But, while it may have started out as an American pastime, this post-Thanksgiving tradition has now truly gone global.

That’s all according to a new round of data from 170 retailers who reach more than 140 countries and territories through Borderfree®. You may remember from our 2016 Global Online Shopping Study earlier this year that 66 percent of consumers have participated in cross-border shopping over the last 12 months. With the release of our new Borderfree data, we found that this trend was especially pronounced on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Japan and Mexico topped the list of countries that saw the most cross-border orders pour in over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. The biggest winners were India, Kuwait, Japan and Australia, which saw year-over-year growth of 173 percent, 99 percent, 73 percent and 35 percent, respectively, compared to their Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales last year.

This year’s post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy also saw a seismic shift in how cross-border consumers are shopping with U.S. retailers. While desktop remains the dominant ecommerce platform, the share of international sales done through mobile devices more than doubled from 10 percent in 2015 to 23 percent this year. Expect this figure to only continue rising in the years ahead.

In addition to where this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday cross-border shoppers are from, the Pitney Bowes data reveals another interesting dimension to their behavior: what, specifically, they were actually buying. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing were hotly sought after items across the globe, but the popularity of certain products was especially pronounced in a handful of countries:

  • Cookware sets in Russia and South Korea.
  • Flat-screen TVs in India and Israel.
  • Handbags in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.
  • Jewelry charms in Australia, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
  • Outerwear in Canada and Russia.

Knowing what tops the gift lists of shoppers in certain countries in turn helps U.S. retailers to stock up and plan accordingly for not only the holiday season that lies ahead, but many more Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays down the road.

Interested in learning more about the buying preferences of today’s cross-border shoppers? Check out the full results of the 2016 Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Study. Or view the Pitney Bowes Black Friday/Cyber Monday infographic.