Every year, thousands of sale lovers look forward to the end of November. This is when Black Friday, the biggest shopping craze of the year, takes place. Retailers have been preparing for months to finally, on 29th November, unveil the best promotions and discounts for their clients.
Originally, Black Friday used to be known only in the United States. However, in the last few years, the event has spread to other continents, including our country. Saudis have welcomed with opened arms the opportunity to participate in huge sales and make great savings.
In which part of Saudi Arabia is Black Friday the most popular? What are the differences in attitudes toward sales among men and women? How much money are Saudis willing to spend and on which products? Where and when do Saudi consumers shop? Picodi.com analysts look closer into the Black Friday phenomenon and answer these questions.
Black Friday is not the only shopping holiday in November. Although still not as prominent in Saudi Arabia, in many countries Singles’ Day is celebrated on November 11th. Named after the multiple “one” numbers in the date, representing people who are single, Singles’ Day originated in China. The high discounts offered on that day attract huge crowds, especially in Asia.
The survey conducted by Picodi.com shows that Black Friday clearly rules in Saudi Arabia. Among respondents who took part in one of November shopping holidays, 53 per cent participated in Black Friday sales. 33 per cent took advantage of both Black Friday and Singles’ Day. Merely 14 per cent answered that they took part in Singles’ Day only.
Although Black Friday is celebrated throughout Saudi Arabia, in some cities people anticipate it more than in others. With the internal data from Picodi.com, we found cities where an increase of visits in online stores was the largest (compared to an ordinary Friday).
The biggest increase of interest in Black Friday sales was noted among citizens of Dammam. Black Friday has also gained significant popularity among residents of Medina and Jeddah, who took the second and third place respectively. Surprisingly, Riyadh landed in fourth place.
Black Friday sales are popular among both male and female citizens of Saudi Arabia. As much as 73 per cent of female respondents are going to take part in Black Friday — it is 9 percentage points more than male shoppers.
Women purchase more products: 5 in comparison with 3.8 bought by men. Paradoxically, men spend more money than women on Black Friday. An average woman is willing to spend around 573 SAR, while an average man around 737 SAR. Both male and female shoppers chose clothing and shoes as their top purchases. What is more, women spend 23 per cent more time on shopping compared to men.
Black Friday is all about the promotions. In this case as well, men and women have separate preferences. The surveyed women choose a lower discount on an entire range of products as their favourite type of promotion. The second place takes a discount coupon or code, and freebies added to order are in the third place. On the other hand, men’s favourite promotion is a higher discount on selected products. It is followed by a discount coupon and then a lower discount on an entire range of products.
The popularity of online shopping is rising year after year, especially because of events such as Black Friday or Singles’ Day. 38 per cent of the surveyed Saudis are going to shop online on Black Friday. The majority of respondents (59 per cent) decided to shop in both online and offline stores. Only 3 per cent of Saudis are going to shop exclusively in brick-and-mortar stores.
One of the reasons against shopping in malls is having to wait in lines. Although in Saudi Arabia the situation is not as extreme, in some countries, special tutorials are created on how to endure the neverending queuing on Black Friday. Nevertheless, not everyone is willing to waste their time standing in line. Among Saudi respondents, as much as 20 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men declare that they would rather give up on purchasing a product than wait in line.
Those who decide to place orders online do not have to worry about queues and can shop around-the-clock. On the Saudi Internet, peaks of shopping activity fall at 1 and 2 PM. Consumers make purchases at home, during the commute, or even at work — 61 per cent of surveyed Saudis admitted that they buy while working.
The report is based on archival statistical data of the Picodi.com platform, as well as a survey conducted on behalf of Picodi.com between 9-20 October 2019.
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See also historical statistics on Black Friday: