Black Friday transactions – nearly half (44%) of total European sales were cross-border in 2018. Cross-border sales surged by 70% when compared with sales in 2017.

12 august 2019

The European online division of global payments leader, Ingenico Group, has released ecommerce transaction data insights which indicate a greater pan-European business opportunity for online merchants during highly targeted peak shopping events.

Analysing trends from Black Friday transactions over the past three years, Ingenico highlighted that sales are still on the increase, driven in part by the rapid growth of cross-border transactions throughout the continent. From 2016-17, cross-border sales rose by 16%. Last year this figure surged by 70% when compared with sales in 2017.

The increase in cross-border sales is replicated on other peak sales days throughout the year. On Cyber Monday, for example, cross-border transactions in Europe increased by 71% between 2017 and 2018.

The data represents the growing number of consumers who are using online peak sales days to find the best deals and right products across borders. Ingenico has noted that these peak sales moments – when traffic is high and consumers are on the lookout for new, unique offers – are an opportunity for merchants to attract these international shoppers.

Key findings:

The share of cross-border pan-European transactions is increasing rapidly during high volume online sales days, with multiple peak sales events seeing a 70%+ YoY growth in cross-border transactions.

In 2018, 44% of Black Friday transactions were cross-border, nearly double the volume of international sales from just two years earlier (23%), indicating a rapid change in consumer behaviour and growing confidence in international merchants.

These peak sales periods represent a unique opportunity for ecommerce merchants to broaden their geographical reach and customer base.

Europe is becoming more closely connected and barriers are fading, but merchants should remember that each region still has varied preferences and languages so will need to be targeted differently.

Benoît Boudier, Managing Director, SMB Online Europe from Ingenico, commented: “Five years ago, peak sales events were still very much a domestic event, but it is clear now that with the development of social media influencers and globalisation of trends, merchants need to use these events to reach out to a broader audience across Europe.”

Looking back at the origin of Black Friday transactions, nearly half (44%) of total European sales were cross-border in 2018 – a healthy growth from 2016 which saw 23% of all transactions coming from international consumers.

Ian Jindal, Editor in Chief of InternetRetailing and CEO of industry research body, RetailX, references the recent IREU Top500 ranking of the best-performing retailers in Europe, saying that “the increased cross-border trading is a result of reduced friction in the process.”

Jindal continued: “International payment, delivery and returns are now easier than ever before, and there’s a trend towards multilingual and localised websites as the online leaders actively seek customers across Europe. The continued growth of marketplaces, and the move of brands to sell direct to consumers online, both serve to accelerate cross-border growth into 2020 and beyond.”

Since cross-border purchases are not set to slow, Ingenico is encouraging growing merchants to properly leverage peak sales days in order to expand beyond their home market and grow their customer base, advising a targeted approach.

“Shoppers are no longer tied to their physical location – as long as the shopping, checkout and delivery process feels local to them,” added Robin Soubry, Head of Product Strategy and Customer Experience at Ingenico ePayments.

Soubry continued: “Barriers may be diminishing online throughout Europe as countries become more closely connected, but each region is incredibly diverse, reflecting their own unique cultures and histories. Languages are different, tastes vary, and payment methods alternate – this should all be taken into account by merchants to ensure the best customer experience in every new region they wish to target.”

Ingenico has released more peak sales insights, which can be seen here.

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