New data released by global payments and shopping service, Klarna*has shown sales during Black Week (22 November to 28 November 2021) increased by 305% compared to the same period last year, peaking on the afternoon of Black Friday when sales were up 878% during the most intense hour.

A few key trends emerged from Black Friday that retailers can learn from to help them better prepare for the next major sales event of the year – Boxing Day.

Lesson 1: Focus on Millennial shoppers… but don’t forget Baby Boomers

Millennials – those aged 25 to 40 – were the biggest spenders this Black Friday, accounting for more than half (54%) of purchases, ahead of Gen X – those aged between 41 and 56 (23%), Gen Z – those aged between 18 and 24 (19%) and Baby Boomers – those aged 57 and over (5%), In the lead up to Boxing Day, Klarna recommends retailers focus on their younger audiences to ensure a successful sales event.

However, the number of Baby Boomers shopping during Black Friday experienced the highest increase compared to an average day when compared to other generations. Covid lockdowns have brought online shopping to a new generation of consumers, so don’t leave them behind either.

Lesson 2: Plan ahead just like your customers

Australian shoppers started bargain hunting early with sales volumes in the first hour of Black Friday (midnight to 1am) up 399% compared to an average day, and up 314% compared to the same time last year. Shoppers are also doing their research early by planning, saving items to wish lists and receiving price drop alerts before the sales period has even started.

Lesson 3: Keep an eye on trending categories

The products that increased the most in popularity during Black Friday and Cyber Monday were in leisure, sports & hobby, jewellery & accessories, and clothing & shoes categories. These were the most in-demand among Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X.

Lesson 4: Promote your message at the right time

During this year’s Black Friday sales event, shoppers were most active at 2pm AEST so retailers need to promote their biggest deals, send eDMs and push notifications just before this time on Boxing Day to maximise sales.

*Data only refers to shoppers who are Klarna customers and compares Klarna shoppers and their spending for purchases that were made with Klarna.