01. December 2022
Black Friday is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Data from Monitoring Consumption Switzerland in the merchant category Retail: Other Goods reveals that sales in the Black Friday week increased by 43% relative to the previous week, reaching the highest weekly turnover for this year. On Black Friday itself, November 25, sales were 2.3 times the level of the previous Friday. The numbers include payments with credit cards, debit cards and mobile payments at the point-of-sale as well as in e-commerce.
Compared to 2021, however, Black Friday sales are lower this year (-5%). The decline is even more pronounced compared to 2020 (-9.5%) and is even larger in real terms if we take inflation into account. Comparing the whole Black Friday week (Monday to Saturday 2022) to the same days in 2021, we find that the total turnover decreased in nominal terms by -2.4%, implying that some of the lower turnover on Black Friday relative to previous years has been compensated by relatively higher turnover on other days during the week.
Figure 1 illustrates these findings by displaying the indexed nominal daily turnover. A value of 100 implies that the daily turnover has been equal to the average daily turnover in November 2021. The indexed value for the Black Friday on November 25, 2022 is 233.2, which is 5% smaller than the value of 245.4 on the Black Friday in the previous year on November 26, 2021. Accounting for inflation between November 2021 and 2022 implies an even larger gap of expenditures deflated to prices in 2021. For important expenditure components contained in the category Retail: Other Goods, such as clothing, the inflation rate between November 2021 and 2022 has been 3.2%.
Figure 1: Daily sales in non-food retail with payment cards (debit/credit cards) and mobile payments, November 2020-2022
Note: indexed values; 100 = average daily turnover in November 2021.
Similar to previous years, Black Friday 2022 also increased sales in e-commerce. Figure 1 shows that the share of e-commerce in the Retail: Other Goods category increased to 23% on Friday November 25, 2022, compared to 13% in the previous week. Yet, the share of e-commerce sales on Black Friday dropped from 27% to 23% year-over-year implying an increase in the share of sales at the point-of-sale on Black Friday 2022 relative to 2021.
How can the decline in e-commerce sales on Black Friday compared to last year be explained? Both the demand side and supply side drivers are plausible. On the demand side, it is conceivable that consumers continued to shop in stores this year, given pandemic conditions similar to the ones last year at this time. Thus they made less use of online offers on Black Friday. Furthermore, the uncertain economic environment may have lowered demand both for sales through e-commerce and at point of sale. On the supply side, supply-chain constraints and inflationary pressures may have led to less attractive Black Friday e-commerce offers compared to previous years.