Black Friday customers shopped online but cart abandonment still a problem in Europe

Black Friday shopping has been a resounding success in the UK and across the pond in the US, especially online shopping. However, some European countries are still wary about the e-commerce option.

Black Friday appears to be going from strength to strength in the UK and that is no more evident than in online shopping. This year’s total Black Friday online retail spend was 330% higher than a normal Friday, according to new data from Ingenico ePayments. Cyber Monday also saw incredibly high numbers with spending on the day being 232% higher than on a typical Monday.

Interestingly, in the US this year’s Black Friday online shopping was only 167% higher than an average Friday. However, US consumers’ spending on Cyber Monday was a staggering 342% higher than a normal Monday, suggesting the day’s highly-promoted concept of shopping online is proving more popular than the in-store shopping generally associated with Black Friday.

In more positive news for retailers, cart abandonment rates improved in these two regions. In the UK, cart abandonment was a third lower on Black Friday weekend compared to an average day online. In the US, the cart abandonment rate actually halved.

This pattern was also evident in Europe, with payment abandonment down 15% in Germany and down two-thirds in the Netherlands, compared to typical daily rates for the rest of the year. 

However, some countries still have a way to go. For example, while in Spain, Black Friday spend increased, cart abandonment also rose by two-thirds compared to the average decline rates for the rest of the year, suggesting that while the sales day concept may be becoming popular, the online option still has some work to do.

David Jimenez, Chief Revenue Officer at Ingenico ePayments, said“The Black Friday weekend continues to grow online, which is great news for ecommerce retailers. Customers still appear to be receptive to Black Friday sales, shown by the increases compared to other days throughout the year. The fear of missing out on countdown deals online means customers are keen to complete the payment process as soon as possible to avoid missing out on their reduced item.”

He added that while higher conversion is the main goal for retailers, the danger here is that customers will suffer from buyer’s remorse, changing their mind and returning goods.

“Mid-December is one of the busiest times for returns: by mid-December last year, 50% of refunds from Black Friday had been processed, with 75% processed by Christmas Eve. This ties up the retailer’s stock in the return process, instead of having it available to online customers before Christmas,” he said.

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