Welcome to Klarna’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday deep dive!

This insights report provides an overview of what the end of November sales phenomenon means to shoppers all over the world.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to rise in popularity, the American sales event has been adapted differently by shoppers and retailers across the world. In many European countries, the concept of having a dedicated day for online shopping has been shrugged off, as retailers offer similar discounts during Black Friday, and in recent years the sales period has gradually extended to include the full week. Meanwhile, in the US, online shopping growth during Black Friday has outpaced Cyber Monday and looks bound to overtake the position as the biggest online shopping day to date in 2021.

More than a year into the pandemic, shoppers from all generations have been turning online to a greater extent than ever before as retailers have pivoted to evolve their online presence. What effect will this have during the biggest sales week of the year?

Familiarize yourself with shoppers’ plans and expectations leading up to the most intensive shopping days of the year, and keep track of  the latest updates from Klarna’s shopping data.

Enjoy!

Methodology.

Survey data.

Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 11 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland). The research was conducted during October and November 2021 and includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, more than 11,000 consumers participated. The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency Nepa.

11 countries

11 000 consumers

90m consumers

250 000 retailers

Online shopping data.
Insights from Klarna’s shopping data. Klarna serves more than 90 million consumers and 250 000 retailers.

Planning makes perfect.

Late November sales have gradually increased their share of total sales during the holiday season at an accelerated pace during the past decade, and the named sales days have extended their footprint outside of the US. This year, shoppers all over the world have been eager to get an earlier start than usual due to the logistic challenges and shortages that have been caused by the pandemic. It is clear that many have planned ahead, and there is a strong correlation between setting a budget, planning purchases, waiting to make more expensive big-ticket purchases—and expecting to find a bargain.

Online shoppers are more meticulous.

Shopping online and in the physical world are done differently. Meticulous planning, budgeting, price awareness, and online shopping are strongly correlated. Those who intend to go to physical stores go about their shopping more spontaneously.

Insights.

  • Online shoppers in general have a more clear idea about how they will spend before they start shopping
  • In-store shoppers on the other hand are likely to use their smartphones instore to make a more informed purchase decision

Gen Z & Millennials are on it, too.

November sales are more embraced by the younger generations. Gen Z & Millennials budget to a further extent than their older peers and have a more clear idea on what they are going to buy before the sales get started.

Insights.

  • Gen Z & Millennials are planning their shopping during the end of November sales to a further extent compared to older generations.
  • 9 in 10 Gen Z’ers have set an overall spending budget for the holidays in Australia and the UK.
  • 8 in 10 Gen Z’ers are expecting big price drops during Black Friday, and more than 7 in 10 know what they are going to buy.

Holiday shopping on a budget.

A lot of shoppers are taking the opportunity to get more value for their money by shopping during the November sales. And many are looking to cross off a large chunk of items from their holiday shopping list in one swoop.

Insights.

  • US consumers will look to do 23% of their holiday shopping during Black Friday alone.
  • Gen Z, followed closely by Millennials, have planned to do most of their holiday shopping compared to older generations.

Shopping for both oneself and others.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales at the end of November are the perfect time for those that are shopping on a budget. The price drops encourage many shoppers to wait and consolidate their shopping needs that very week. They are not only buying holiday gifts, but also shopping for themselves.

November sales have become a natural part of holiday gift shopping.

Many holiday shoppers are looking to seize the opportunity to get bargains on products they will use themselves while finding holiday gifts for loved ones that are otherwise bought at a more expensive price point.

Insights.

  • Clothing & Shoes, Electronics and Beauty are the product categories most are looking to buy on a global average. The only countries where another product category makes the top 3 list are the UK (Entertainment), Australia (Home & Garden) and Norway (Leisure, Sports & Hobby)
  • Children products stand out as the product category most are looking to buy for others, while Clothing & Shoes are the category most shop for themselves.

Online shopping is gaining ground.

Black Friday is no longer in store for US shoppers only, and might overtake Cyber Monday as the biggest online shopping day ever during 2021. In Northern Europe, this transition has already happened, as both online and in-store sales mainly revolve around Black Friday with most retailers offering discounts in the lead up to it.

Black Friday shopping no longer requires protective gear.

Shoppers want to avoid crowds and do their bargain hunting from the comfort of their living room. While Black Friday is still physical stores first, many shoppers are looking to make a large share of their purchases online this year—and retailers are quick to adapt to evolving consumer needs and preferences.

The chart below illustrates the extent to which shoppers are planning to shop online and in physical stores on Black Friday.

Insights.

  • On average, Erotic materials and toys, Entertainment and Electronics are the categories consumers most prefer to shop online.
  • Home & Garden stands out as the category consumers most plan to shop in physical stores.

Online shopping is on the rise everywhere.

During 2021, shoppers all over the world have grown increasingly fond of the online experience—which, unsurprisingly, has led many retailers to step up their digital offering during the pandemic.

The chart below illustrates consumers’ mindset in regards to the extent to which they choose to shop online and in physical stores.

Insights.

  • On average consumers across the globe are evolving to more online shopping for Black Friday sales.
  • The UK, Germany and Sweden are leading the pack for this online transition.

In-store with a digital footprint.

Black Friday was born in physical stores, and even though the appetite for online shopping has increased amidst the pandemic, going bargain hunting in physical stores will remain top of mind for many shoppers.

The in-store shopping journey begins online.

The digital evolution does not only mean that people are shopping more online. Online research, also called webrooming, plays an important role throughout the in-store shopping journey. The modern day trip to the mall starts online for the majority. 

The chart below illustrates the percentage of in-store shoppers who usually research online before shopping in physical stores.

Insights.

  • Online pre-search is most prevalent for Clothing & shoes, Electronics and Beauty categories.
  • Electronics stands out as a category that is researched by at least 8 out of 10 shoppers, which is consistent across all generations

Online research has become part of the in-store shopping experience.

The evolution of smartphones has forever changed the in-store shopping experience. Similar to online, in-store shoppers are also making comparisons for competitive prices and offers, and checking product reviews and testimonials to make sure they have found the right product. When you see someone browsing their phone between the aisles, there is a high likelihood that they are not texting someone or checking  their social accounts, but rather making sure they get all the information they need to make a more informed purchase decision.

The chart below illustrates the share of instore shoppers that say they use their smartphones to research products when they shop in physical stores.

Insights.

  • Americans, Australians and Scandinavians do this the most often.
  • The stereotypical Nordic preference for an extended personal space may become quite handy for in-store shoppers wanting to keep shop owners unaware that they are not texting or checking the weather, but instead are using their smartphones to casually check whether the grass is greener somewhere else

2021 data updates.

In this section you will find regular updates on the developments based on shopping data from Klarna. During 2021, Black Friday takes place on the 26th of November, and Cyber Monday on the 29th. This section will be updated during the week, starting in the lead up to Black Friday and ending with Cyber Monday.

The online shopping map.

Select a country in the list below to see where people shop the most online per capita, where people are shopping the most compared to an average day, and how the most popular product categories shift across regions.

The index for “Favourite Products” is calculated in relation to the national average, and does not necessarily reflect the products that are most often bought overall—but most often in comparison with other regions in the same country.

22 – 29 November 2021

That’s it for this time!

Member of the press and looking for additional information?

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Klarna team via press@klarna.com