Black Friday in NZ


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).

black friday search trends on Google NZ

(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.

KeywordAverage Monthly Searches*
black friday14,000
black friday nz8,300
noel leeming black friday4,300
harvey norman black friday4,000
farmers black friday3,600
black friday 20193,600
black friday sales3,500
pb tech black friday2,600
pbtech black friday2,500
when is black friday2,300

(*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)

Online black friday NZ spend 2016 - 2019.
NZ online holiday period spend 2016 – 2019. Source: NZPost 2020 New Zealand eCommerce Review
Black Friday online spend NZ vs International 2019
Black Friday online spend NZ vs International 2019. Source: NZPost 2020 New Zealand eCommerce Review

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.

Updated Black Friday 2020 online spend results. Source: NZPost eCommerce Spotlight December

About the author

Paul Sutherland

Paul has worked across a wide range of brands in NZ, Australia & internationally. He is known for untangling complex search issues and delivering results within both SEO & SEM.

By Paul Sutherland

Get in touch

Paul - (027) 513 6134
Charles - (021) 807 829

Paul - (027) 513 6134
Charles - (021) 807 829