Black Friday – A Worldwide Phenomenon

Black Friday is a quite new sales and marketing institution for Europeans, which has gained huge success in Europe during the last couple of years. Especially in the e-commerce area it gained resounding success.

Originally imported from the USA, Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is always the fourth Thursday in November.

Black Friday History

Since 1952 Black Friday officially opens the Christmas shopping season. In the USA many retailers open their retail stores as early as 5 a.m. or even during overnight hours. As Thanksgiving is a holiday in the USA, most Americans take a bridge day on Black Friday. Some people even spend the whole night in front of the stores to snatch the best limited offers in the early morning hours.

Financially Black Friday is one of the top-selling days of the year in the USA. During the last years the total revenue decreased a little bit for retail stores, but therefore the online revenues exploded.

Breaking Success in Europe

In contrast to the USA, Black Friday in Europe is mostly offered in online shops. The Black Friday sales campaigns slopped over for retail stores in 2006 and for online shops in 2013. E.g. in Germany Black Friday is offered since then and generates huge revenues up to 3 times as high as on normal Fridays.

The revenue increase of the Black Weekend in Germany from 2014 to 2016 is self-explanatory:

Black Friday is Just Not Enough

As Black Friday became popular in Europe, online shop owners like Amazon have recognized, that its popularity and success on a single Friday can be extended to a whole weekend or even a whole week. Many huge online shop or marketplace providers spend immense marketing budgets to promote unique names for one and the same marketing activities and to delimit their online shops.

Amazon therefore established the Cyber Monday or now even the Cyber Monday Week. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday and the Cyber Monday Week begins on the Monday before Black Friday.

Another common marketing terms are “Black Weekend”, “Black Week”, “Black Days” or “Cyber Week”. Most stores in the USA and online shops in Europe offer their Black Friday deals not only on Black Friday, but also on the following weekend.

Statistics and Numbers

In the displayed chart you can see abstracted traffic numbers of Recolize customers during the last Black Friday and Cyber Monday Week in 2017. Black Friday was on 2017-11-24, so the Cyber Monday Week lasted from the 20th to the 27th of November 2017.

Let’s extract the Cyber Monday Week:

It is very obvious, that Black Friday itself was not the most lucrative day for our customers. Especially the Sunday after Black Friday was extremely strong. “Sofa Sundays” are in general very strong revenue days for online shops in autumn and winter. Because of the bad and cold weather, many people stay at home and use their time for browsing and shopping online. Combined with all the discount offers of the Black Weekend, this day is one of the most important days for online shop owners.

Forecast Black Friday 2018

Comparing the numbers in Germany with the last year, the forecast for 2018 looks extremely promising: a 15 % growth compared to 2017, and a total of 2.4 Billion revenue is expected for 2018.


Revenue Growth


Expected Revenue

Use the Power of Black Friday

If you run an online shop, then you have the possibility to generate huge additional revenues during the Black Week. But be careful: Black Friday is a margin killer and can become a huge problem for your stock management. When you sell over Amazon, then be careful with offering too much articles, because depending on the discount, a buy-out on Black Friday is very likely.

If you are a buyer, you have to be careful too. Not all Cyber Week offers do really have a discount. In 2017 only 381 of 500, so 76 %, of offered discounted products did really have a lower price compared to the previous month. And the average discount for these products was around only 20 %.

Black Friday – A Worldwide Phenomenon