Global Online Shopping Holidays 2016: Analysis and Recap

Another November shopping season is in the books, and despite some rocky website issues from one retailer and an electricity black out in central London, online sales reached new a record by coming in over $3 billion. Now that the dust has settled on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles Day, we can take a step back and review the key takeaways from a mega-shopping mad November in our Global Online Shopping Holidays 2016 analysis

As we expected, mobile played a major role in Black Friday this year by helping boost year on year sales in the online space. This more than made up for the decline in sales and foot traffic at brick and mortar locations. This decline of in-store visits could be due to multiple factors, including extended sales periods which disperses shoppers’ enthusiasm over a number of days instead of just one and consumer preference for ordering from home to avoid lines and parking lot headaches.

Overall, we did see an increase in the average amount of discounts offered online this year, which is another factor that may have driven growth in online sales. Target witness the biggest improvement, with average discounts jumping 11%.

To see our full Black Friday 2016 Analysis and how it compared to Cyber Monday and Singles’ Day, download our research. 

Quick Hits: Global Online Shopping Holidays 

  • Every retailer saw an increase in the number of deals being offered between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, cementing Black Friday as “the” deal day in the United States despite weeks of discounts leading up to November 25th.
  • Despite an increase in the number of deals on Black Friday, average discounts across Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart decreased from 26% to 25%.
  • Surveys in the UK showed that Consumer Electronics were the most sought-after category for deals. The top US online retailers seemed to believe this was true as well, with Consumer Electronics either the number 1 or number 2 most offered discounted category. In fact, over 50% of Walmart Black Friday promotions were consumer electronic items.
  • In the UK, Amazon greatly increased the number of Health & Household items on sale between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while offering less Office supplies and Fitness items.
  • In the UK, across Amazon, Argos, PC World, and Tesco, the average discount storewide was 34% on Black Friday compared to 33% on Cyber Monday.
  • In the US, Amazon increases sales of Apparel & Jewelry by 17% on Black Friday when compared to Thanksgiving, and increase Electronic sales by 15%.

(Nearly) Everyday is a Shopping Holiday

One major trend in the ecommerce channel is the growth and then expansion of deal days. Singles’ Day has cropped up in China, Prime day is now an official shopping holiday in the US, and Amazon has vowed to keep the sales going straight through to Christmas. The day after Cyber Monday, Amazon had a banner on their website highlighting “Today’s Deals”, “12 Days of Deals”, “Last Minute Deals”, “Digital Deals”, “Woot! Deals”, “Coupons” and more. This ensures that shopper’s fix for constant discounts will be satisfied in the coming weeks.




John Neilson

John Neilson

John Neilson is the Global Head of Professional Services at Clavis Insight providing market research data and analysis to help global Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturers understand the eCommerce landscape. He has over 10 years of experience and expertise in the FMCG retail and insight industries.