Boxing Day vs Black Friday, Black Friday Dominates

by Jim January 8, 2020

Welcome back and welcome to 2020 everyone! Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. We debated late last year what impact Black Friday sales would have on pre-Christmas sales and whether Boxing Day would display similar bumper results. The data supports our suspicions.

What I learned

  • A lot of Black Friday money was Xmas shopping
  • Predicted Christmas sales didn’t happen
  • Boxing Day is a popular search – just not for shopping!
  • Certain retailers do better on the different days
  • Online shoppers gravitate to Black Friday bargains


Hey, welcome back, Rankers and retailers. It’s 2020. We’re here. Yay. Did you have a good New Year, good Chrissy? Awesome.

Black Friday vs. Boxing Day

Let’s get down to business. I want to talk to you today about the retail sales that we had at the end of last year. We had the Black Friday sale, and as I said last year, this is the biggest Black Friday we’d had in Australia. To give you some sense of that, what we’ve got here is a Google Trends, and what we’re looking at is these three phrases. So Boxing Day, Black Friday, and sales. I’ve got the sales word in there just as a control, which I’ll show you why that’s there.

What you can see here is that you would say, okay, well yeah, Black Friday, it doubled last year. A lot of the talk leading up to Christmas was that it was going to be a bumper Christmas because of this trend with pre-Christmas sales being down. The reason pre-Christmas sales were probably down is Black Friday, and people did their shopping, right? So that’s what it looks like has happened.

We had a discussion about this in the office before I went away. Nick in the office was looking at some of the reports coming out of the media at the time saying it’s going to be a bumper Christmas year for retailers or Boxing Day sales for retailers. He was saying, “What I’m looking at, I don’t think so.” Now when I look at it now, it’s not.

So for instance, we can see this control here. I’ll zoom in. This is just the word ‘sales’, right? So you can see we’ve got Black Friday, and the reason I’m using the word sales and not Boxing Day, or not just Boxing Day, is because on Boxing Day in Australia, we have a major cricket test, which is awesome. And that test … Well not that test, but the test’s that on at the moment will be on that screen as soon as I finish recording. But it’s a lot of interest. A lot of the people searching for Boxing Day are actually looking for cricket scores and those sorts of things.

Horses for courses

So what we’ve got here is we can see, yes, interest in Boxing Day has increased year on year; however, when we look at sales, we can say, well, Boxing Day sales, no. They’re slightly down. Not by much. At best, you would say they’re even. But certainly, the growth has come to Black Friday. So what we’re noticing with this is when we look at some of the retailers and some of the things that the winners and the losers, if you like, we’re seeing that JB Hi-Fi here had a much bigger Black Friday than they did Boxing Day. But you look at Harvey Norman, which is more of a big box retailer, they’re on par, although you could say Boxing Day was probably a little bit higher. Certainly, Apple, which is interesting in Australia, had a higher Boxing Day interest.

I think it says something more about the type of consumer and the buyer persona that’s doing and shopping at these times. I think you will find the crowd that’s more used to shopping online or tends to shop online more, they are going to expect Black Friday sales from what this graph shows.

Anyway, hopefully that’s helpful. Hope you have a fantastic year. This is our 16th year of doing the show and our 21st year of StewArt Media. So thank you very much for watching. Please share, please comment wherever you read this or watch it, because I will respond. Thanks very much. We’ll see you next week. Have a great 2020.

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