UAE, Saudi Arabia top global Black Friday 2020 spending: study

Online shoppers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE plan to spend $400 on average on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year.

The figure for the two GCC countries compares to a global average of between $230 and $300; according to the Global Black Friday Forecast conducted by consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners.

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States; that takes place on the fourth Thursday of November.

The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season; since 1952 and has since spread to the rest of the world.

The annual shopping festival is commonly known as White Friday in the region.

Across all countries surveyed, respondents overwhelmingly indicate familiarity with Black Friday. In the UAE; 100 per cent of respondents indicate they are familiar with the holiday shopping event; while 98% of respondents in Saudi Arabia said they are familiar with Black Friday.

There has been a noticeable change this year with shoppers choosing online shopping for safety reasons due to Covid-19.

There’s also increased emphasis on shopping locally; and a stronger focus on Black Friday to save money during holiday shopping; the report shows.

“After COVID-19 consumers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are being more cautious when it comes to spending their discretionary incomes,” said Lovrenc Kessler; a managing partner at Simon-Kucher in Dubai, UAE.

“However; we are optimistic about the high levels of expected spending – Black Friday is still seen as an attractive moment to save money on planned purchases.

This reveals a major opportunity for retailers to sharpen their promotions and maximise cross-sell opportunities as consumers will be browsing across multiple categories,” he added.