Launched in France five years ago, Black Friday took a while to take off amongst consumers who were used to the traditional winter and summer sales periods. Initially leaving the population a little confused by such large discounts offered in late November, it seems like the idea of Black Friday has started to soar in consumers’ mindsets in the last couple of years.
According to the CSA Institute in France, while only a fifth of the country’s population was planning to take advantage of the late November bargains in 2016, that figure rose to over 50% in the last year (French People and Black Friday). Some shops even recorded having doubled their sales from the event in 2017 compared to the year before.
Although consumers still prefer to shop in store for a more tangible experience, their path to purchase has evolved since 2016 to start with mobile phones for most shoppers. According to the digital advertising group Kwanto, in France approximately 47% of online purchases are completed on a desktop, 24% from a tablet and the remaining 29% on mobile phones, with the latter taking an increasing share over time.
Every year, the impact of Black Friday grows in France. Consumers take this event as an opportunity to save money on their Christmas shopping. Purchase intent is known to be the highest in the fashion, high-tech and toys industries, with Amazon recording a historical success, generating more than 1.4 million orders within a day in 2016 (that’s 970 units per minute – yes, you read that right!).
Interesting Fact #1: In 2015, following the Bataclan attacks that happened in Paris two weeks before Black Friday, most brands chose to rename the event to “Jour Discount” or “Crazy Week-End” as a measure of respect for the victims.
Interesting Fact #2: It is rumoured that a group of major French brands are coming together to launch their own version of Black Friday in the hope of redefining it as a national event. Only, this one is expected to take place in spring (April 27th – May 1st) – when it comes to boosting sales, everything’s allowed of course!