American Marketer


International consumer purchases tripled on Black Friday weekend: FiftyOne

November 30, 2012


International consumer purchases at U.S. retailers tripled Black Friday through Cyber Monday, according to data from FiftyOne Global Ecommerce.

FiftyOne found that international customers spent the most at luxury department stores throughout the Black Friday weekend. In addition, the data revealed that email marketing was the strongest driver of purchasing and product awareness.

“This Black Friday and Cyber Monday we found that more than 35 top retailers ran marketing campaigns and exclusive promotions targeting to specific countries, despite this typically being viewed as an American-only shopping holiday,” said Jennifer Raezer, head of marketing communications for FiftyOne, New York.

“There is absolutely an opportunity for marketers to expand current campaigns into new regions and engage with their international audience more directly,” she said.

International sales data was collected over a four-day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumer insights were collected from a poll that included more than 4,000 adults from 90 countries who were surveyed online Nov. 27-28.

International buyers

FiftyOne found that international consumers will be important for U.S. retailers this holiday season.

Colombian residents spent the most on Black Friday weekend. They spent 11 times more than the average daily spend during the four days.

Shoppers from countries such as Israel, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea, Russia and China also showed a significant increase in spending over the four days.

International consumers, as a whole, spent the most money at luxury department stores. They spent approximately $337 on each transaction.

In addition, international customers spent on fashion retailers and brands, discount retailers and shoe retailers.

The top categories shopped were apparel, shoes and home, per the data.

Both men and women reported spending more than they anticipated.

Also, mobile devices made an impact over the Black Friday weekend. Twenty-seven percent of international customers said that they completed at least one purchase on a mobile device.

There was not much of a difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in terms of the number of purchases and average order value, per the data.

“This global demand for luxury goods presents an exciting growth opportunity for retailers,” Ms. Raezer said.

Email boost

Email marketing from retailers was the top driver for product awareness and purchasing of U.S. brands, according the FiftyOne.

In fact, email was the reason why 79 percent of international consumers shopped on Black Friday weekend.

Other marketing tools such as online advertising and social media were ranked before influence from friends and family as reasons to shop that weekend.

Online advertising reached 34 percent of consumers and social media reached 16 percent while influence from friends and family affected 13 percent.

“We recommend that brands build and segment their database of international shoppers and run email campaigns informing them of upcoming sales and special promotions, such as free or flat-rate shipping to their country,” Ms. Raezer said.

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York