Black Friday, Cyber Monday fuel Europe's online shopping bonanza

US shopping traditions are shaping up as big influencers of European online Christmas sales.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

US shopping traditions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday will help drive an online sales bonanza for European retailers.

An increasing number of European retailers are joining in on the Black Friday excitement, which begins on November 28 after the American Thanksgiving holiday, and marks the traditional beginning of the US Christmas shopping season. Analyst Forrester predicts €35bn will be spent online in November and December across Europe.

Introduced to Europe by US retailers like Amazon and Apple, Black Friday is this year being observed with sales and special offers by other retailers including the UK's Argos, John Lewis, and tech retailer Currys.

Visa Europe has forecasted this year's Black Friday will be the biggest day ever for online sales in the UK, estimating Brits will spend £580m ($810m), according to Reuters. Amazon UK said it is expecting its busiest week ever.

Tech analyst Forrester forecasts consumers in the UK will spend €12.6bn online between November and December. It attributes part of that to Black Friday having a bigger influence over the two-month period, which will account for a quarter of all online retail sales in 2014 in the UK.

The UK is the largest spender online in Europe, followed by Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden, which together account for €31bn of the €35bn spending forecast for all of Europe this holiday season.

Forrester expects that sales made by consumers from mobile and tablet devices will account for 20 percent of online revenue from Europe's top seven online spenders.

Retailers are also tuning up their online offerings during the lead up to Christmas with click-and-collection options to address the drop-off that previously occurred due to delivery cutoff times.

And while tablets themselves may be in the midst of a sales slump, a Barclays survey earlier this month revealed that 35 percent of retailers expected tablets to be their main sales channel for growth this Christmas, ahead of smartphones and stores, which were both 19 percent. Barclays also found that 65 percent of retailers were planning Black Friday sales.

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