The term “Black Friday” originated in the US and refers to the Friday following thanksgiving. The day itself has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season since way back in 1952 (although the use of the name is more recent). It is reported to have been the busiest US shopping day of the year since 2005.
Within the New Zealand market, Black Friday is somewhat of a newer phenomenon but no less impactful. It is now seen as the biggest e-commerce shopping event of the year.
Search Demand In NZ
Looking at the search behaviour around the term “black friday” within our local market, we can see an increasing trend over the course of the last 5 years leading into Black Friday 2020 (which is on Friday 27th November).
It is safe to say kiwis have brought into the idea and marketers should take note (if they haven’t already).
(Note: Graph above shows week prior to Black Friday 2020. Up to date Google trends graph available here).
The bulk of this search intent is focused around deal hunting and research indicates that the majority of these users are looking to purchase products for themselves, rather than gift-giving.
Top 10 Black Friday Keywords in NZ
Digging into the keywords which make up this booming topic, we can start to see some pretty common patterns emerging. The most evident for big-brand retailers is that there is significant search activity around: [brand] + “black friday” type queries.
|Average Monthly Searches*
|black friday nz
|noel leeming black friday
|harvey norman black friday
|farmers black friday
|black friday 2019
|black friday sales
|pb tech black friday
|pbtech black friday
|when is black friday
(*Note: The average monthly search figures above are averaged out over 12 months, so severely understate the huge search volume which all happens in November. These numbers can be multiplied by 12 to get a real sense of the search volume on and around Black Friday itself).
The Black Friday period also often sees increases around product-specific searches as well, as users look to buy a product that has been on their shopping radar for awhile. This is particularly true of “treat” purchases (think health & beauty, clothing and electronics).
Black Friday sales in NZ
In 2019, NZ online transactions on Black Friday increased by 21% which was backed up even further by increases over the following three days – with Saturday up 38%, Sunday up 33% and Cyber Monday up 16% compared to 2018. (Note: Black Friday/Cyber Monday was a week later in 2019, as shown below)
With 2020 being the year of lockdown strangeness and booming e-commerce sales, it will be interesting to see how Black Friday performs this year.
UPDATE: Online sales in November were up 27% compared to 2019, making Black Friday 2020 the biggest yet in New Zealand. More available in this ecommerce spotlight report.