Shopping promotions around the Thanksgiving holiday often seem so US-centric that it can be easy to overlook the international impact. However, a new study released by global e-commerce provider FiftyOne, shows that international customers are keenly watching — and shopping — deals from American retailers. Their survey of more than 4,386 adults across 90 countries reveals that international sales more than tripled this year from 2011 during the four day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Brands are also starting to promote their Thanksgiving sales to a global audience as more and more retailers enable overseas shipping capabilities. The study found that over 35 top U.S. retail brands ran international marketing campaigns this year and offered additional in-country promotions for their non-American customers.
So where are the foreign shoppers coming from? FiftyOne found that Canada and Australia were the top two countries in terms of percentage of sales that weekend, making up 31% and 19% of total volume respectively. In terms of significant increases in shopping activity as compared to other days, residents from Colombia led the way spending more than 11 times their daily average during the promotion period, followed by residents from Israel, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, and China. In particular, international consumers spent heavily at luxury department stores focusing on apparel, shoes, and home goods.
79% of those surveyed said that they learned of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions through email marketing directly from retailers while 34% cited online advertising, 16% cited social media, and 13% cited word of mouth from friends and family. Most consumers took the opportunity to shop for both themselves and others. An earlier study from Forrester revealed that online retail sales in Western Europe, Asia, and Latin America are on the rise — expected to increase 67% from 2011 to 2015 — and demand for US labels and products is high. FiftyOne’s survey found that 46% of international consumers thought the deals were excellent this year and 70% plan to shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales from US e-commerce sites again next year. With such strong interest from international customers, retailers certainly have their work cut out for them.