computer with a Black Friday stamp
Black Friday is becoming the most important online sales date.

Black Friday: Ecommerce Sales Hit Record in Brazil

Black Friday had a very positive outcome in Brazil in its 2018 edition. Sales have grown more than 20% compared to the same period in the previous year.

Ecommerce alone was responsible for approximately 679,347 million U.S Dollars (2.6 billion Brazilian Reais) in sales – representing a growth of 23% compared to 2017, according to Ebit/Nielsen.

There were 4.27 million orders, a growth of 13%. The average sales ticket was of around USD 158,86, or BRL 608.

The Ebit study claims that 2.41 million Brazilians shopped online during this Black Friday, which is 9% more people than in 2017.

The evolution of Black Friday in Brazil

The concept of Black Friday was first adopted by Brazilian ecommerce stores back in 2010, and has been growing exponentially ever since. Even though Brazilians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, buyers from all over Brazil eagerly await for the third Friday of November to purchase items at lower prices

Now that local merchants are aware of Black Friday’s potential for profit, the date (which often extends over the weekend) is the main sales events in the country, behind only Christmas.

This year, some shopping malls even extended their working hours to receive customers. In São Paulo, some brick-and-mortar businesses began their promotional sales on Thursday. Belo Horizonte, another city in the Southeast of Brazil, extended the public transportation hours because of Black Friday as well.

Read also: Why Black Friday Events Are Important in Latin America

Black Friday and its impact on ecommerce

When Ebit first started tracking ecommerce revenue numbers for Black Friday in Brazil, back in 2011, they were modest compared to 2018. Around 100 million Brazilian Reais were spent that year.

Figures more than doubled in 2012, growing to BRL 243 million. The tendency continued in 2013 when consumers spent over BRL 770 million.

In 2015, 2015 and 2016, when the country saw the peak of its political and economic turmoil, Black Friday kept growing and the figures reached the box of billions. The shopping event yielded BRL 1.16 billion, 1.6 billion and 1.9 billion respectively.

In 2017, shoppers spent 2.1 billion Brazilian Reais, or 548 million U.S. Dollars*. On that same year, ecommerce stores sold 7.9 more times than on a regular day, while physical stores saw a drop of 6.1% in their revenue growth compared to 2016.

The profile of Brazilian consumers during Black Friday

Ecommerce stores in Brazil are highly dependent on search engines to reach clients. Up to 48% of online transactions happen after Google searches. Sponsored campaigns are the ones with higher conversion rates.

The third most popular origin of buyers was email marketing, followed by organic access and organic Facebook access.

According to Google Trends, the top 5 Brazilian states interested in the Black Friday in 2018 were:

  • São Paulo;
  • Distrito Federal;
  • Minas Gerais;
  • Rio de Janeiro;
  • Paraná.

Female shoppers are the ones engaging the most in Black Friday deals lately. In 2017, they represented 54.5% of the total buyers. In 2016, they were 53.7%.

Mobile is a growing medium for online purchases in Brazil. They’re now responsible for over 26% of all financial movement in the country.

People in Brazil are also buying smartphones at high rates. While in 2016 they represented a total of 23.2% of the Black Friday purchases, on the following year that number grew to 32.5%.

Also in 2017, the top 5 categories of orders according to the E-commerce Radar Black Friday 2017 were:

  • Food and Beverages (74%)
  • Home appliances (54%)
  • Pharmacy (43%)
  • Tobacco (42%)
  • Eyewear and accessories (34%)

Fixing trust issues

When Black Friday started to become popular in Brazil, so did scams related to fake discounts. Many retailers would increase prices days before the event so they would mask discounts, which followed by consumers starting to call the date “Black Fraud” and causing some distrust.

Masked discounts aren’t the only issues leading complaints. Others are: increase in the price of shipping – making the price of the final purchase not worth the discounts -, technical glitches turning the process difficult or even impossible, changes of the final prices by the end of the purchases, and lack of stock.

This year, the products that caused more complaints were: mobile phones (11.6%), TVs (5.3%), air tickets (4.7%), and credit cards (2.9%).

To increase customer trust, measures such as official seals and codes of ethics are being adopted by brands taking part in Black Friday. Online tools were also launched so people can follow the history of prices of products so customers can be aware if discounts are being masked or not.

Back in 2016, 15.8% of the people interviewed by Ebit/Nielsen said they wouldn’t buy during the Black Friday period. In 2018, the number decreased to 11.4%. The ones who said they wouldn’t do so because they didn’t trust the discounts were 41% two years ago. That number has now dropped to 35%.

How Brazilian and cross-border ecommerce stores can benefit from Black Friday in Brazil

Black Friday in Brazil is a highly profitable date. Consumers expect for it to purchase goods they already know they want but are waiting for special deals in order to acquire them. It’s also when Christmas shopping season kicks off, with gifts for relatives being bought during the event.

Buyers of different age groups are getting into the Black Friday frenzy. With the increasing mobile penetration in Brazil, both younger and older internet users are venturing in online shopping for the first time because they want the comfort of buying from their own homes.

Like in most countries, Black Friday in Brazil extends all the way to Cyber Monday. There are also some “Black November” deals which can extend until the end of the month. Merchants can profit from that as the late customers can be the ones who abandoned carts or even returning customers.

Cross-border merchants have the benefit of offering exactly what Brazilian consumers are looking for: products that aren’t yet available in their countries, lower prices, and exclusive items.

But be successful, international businesses need to adapt.

Local payment methods are important for Brazilians. Even though a large chunk of them like to buy from international ecommerce stores, not all of them have international credit cards. Partnering up with a local payment processing company will not only increase chances of profit but also credibility.

Read more: Add Local Payment Methods to your Payments Strategy and Boost Sales

The next edition of Black Friday will be held on November 29, 2019.

*Disclaimer: The currency conversions on this article were provided by Google on November 26th, 2018. You should confirm current rates before making any transactions that could be affected by changes in the exchange rates.