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MENA customers doubled their spending on White Friday, reveals survey

MENA customers doubled their spending on White Friday, reveals survey

According to Admitad, shoppers in the MENA region increased their orders by 135% and their spending by 94% during the sale week compared to the ‘usual’ period

Zubina Ahmed

White Friday is a November shopping holiday in the Middle East, similar to Black Friday in the US. These sales globally once more broke records from 2021. According to Admitad, a performance marketing-focused IT solution provider, shoppers in the MENA region increased their orders by 135 per cent and their spending by 94 per cent during the sale week compared to the ‘usual’ period. Once again, the three categories with the highest sales were apparel, home goods, and electronics. However, sales of electronics declined significantly this year, and they are no longer on their pedestal.

Golden week’ increases sales not just on Friday

Experts in the field claim that orders have, on average, increased from 2 per cent to 15 per cent from the previous year. Compared to 2021 or 2020, this increase is more moderate. However, the mere fact that growth is occurring in the current economic climate and amid rising inflation is unquestionably a good sign for business. Users will still make purchases if they are interested and given a good deal. A 23 per cent increase in click-throughs to brands’ websites and marketplaces during the sale week serves as proof of this.

Every year, we observe that consumer activity is dispersed more evenly throughout the sale period and is less focused on Friday. As Admitad predicted, a lot of companies extended the sale period to include the days leading up to and following White Friday. As a result, there was a 102 per cent increase in orders on Friday alone, and there was a 135 per cent increase in orders overall for the week.

Curiously, the GMV of orders increased by 115 per cent (as opposed to 94 per cent for the entire week). This shows that the main sale day was when customers were most likely to make their largest purchases. This can be attributed to psychological factors as well as the fact that on Friday, brands and marketplaces themselves offered the largest discounts on expensive goods in an effort to fully engage their target audiences during marketing campaigns.

Frequently used categories: a change in leaders

Marketplaces took the lead globally, accounting for, on average, more than 60 per cent of all sales. However, users on both online marketplaces and individual brand stores engaged in very similar shopping behaviours and shared product interests.

This year, items from the ‘Fashion’ and ‘Home Goods’ categories overtook electronics, which had previously held the top spot on the leaderboard. Furniture and household goods took a huge leap forward and shot to the top of the list. The distribution of user orders overall across the globe was as follows:

    • Fashion (clothes, accessories, shoes, watches) 29.2 per cent
    • Home and garden – 21.1 per cent
    • Electronics and smartphones – 16.4 per cent
    • Baby products, toys, and games – 10.4 per cent
    • Beauty and health – 7.4 per cent
    • Sporting goods – 3.9 per cent
    • Car products – 3.8 per cent
    • Tools – 3 per cent
    • Other – 4.8 per cent

The online services sector has recently taken a more active role in sales. In order to determine their role this year, Admitad also examined the total volume of sales, including those from online services. On White Friday in 2022, event tickets (10.6 per cent), various online services (6.8 per cent), and PC and mobile games (6 per cent) held the top three positions. More than 20 per cent of all sales in the MENA were attributed to the event industry, which was very important to local consumers. This trend was greatly influenced by the Fifa World Cup that was held in neighbouring Qatar.

Content websites and cashback services lured the majority of customers

Content’s influence on customers’ motivation is still growing. Admitad estimates that this year, content websites and online media attracted more than 23 per cent of all global sales. Users who used offers from cashback services placed an additional 20.3 per cent of orders. 14,4 per cent of White Friday purchases were made by visitors to affiliate websites, more than 9 per cent – by coupon users. Brands received an additional 8.6 per cent of sales from contextual advertising and 8.2 per cent from social media.

Reviews and recommendations by content platforms played an even more important role for local MENA shoppers, accounting for more than 30 per cent of all purchases in the country. Contextual advertising and social media also had higher buying activity. Brands were not the only ones to capitalise on the period of high demand. The profits of affiliate partners, who attracted sales for rewards from brands, jumped 34.5 per cent in MENA and 51.4 per cent globally on White Friday.

However, with Christmas and New Year’s sales still to come, the struggle for customers’ attention is far from over. All these White Friday lessons will be put to use by businesses and their affiliate partners in December and early January. Now, in order to use the most efficient traffic channels, mechanics, and content types, it is crucial for them to analyse both their experience and the sales of their competitors.

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