A Cross-Border eCommerce Perspective: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“Cross-border eCommerce logistics perspective on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday activities – this article in a nutshell. Companies which adopt cross-border eCommerce into their core strategies are more likely to have better global exposure, accelerating their expansion towards new customers who are ready to try new things and types of products. It also highlights the evolution of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in different geographical regions, as well as how the digital transformation can support businesses to go global for the most important eCommerce days within one year.”

Key Messages

  • Globalization has had an important impact on global consumer behavior, sales trends, and cross-border eCommerce.
  • More and more people are looking for different brands which are not otherwise accessible in their country of residence.
  • In 2020, Thailand, France, and India had the strongest cross-border Black Friday eCommerce growth.
  • 2020 saw an emergence of the ‘Black November’ shopping.


Key geographical regions – a payment trend

The COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly sped the expansion of cross-border eCommerce, especially on key dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On these days,  global consumers have the willingness to buy a variety of eCommerce products from the coziness of their homes. The world is changing, as is consumer behavior – more and more people are looking for different brands which are not otherwise accessible in their country of residence.

According to JP Morgan 2020 eCommerce Payment Trends Report, less than 45% of online customers in the United Kingdom, have made purchases from eCommerce websites outside the country, 45% of them buying from China, followed by the United States with 21%, and 6% of them buying from merchants in Germany. According to a JP Morgan report, cross-border eCommerce is biting more and more from the overall eCommerce pie, currently standing at 18.6%, showing an uprising trend and a strong willingness to purchase from overseas merchants. Not even Brexit has managed to slow down overseas purchases, but companies like us managed to help merchants by finding quick Brexit solutions to keep up with rising sales and comply with the latest regulatory issues. When it comes to France, cross-border shopping in 2020 was used by 50% of the online consumers, a rate very similar to that of Italy and the Netherlands, and a much higher rate than Germany. Zooming in, 44% of French consumers bought cross-border products from China, followed by 13% from the United Kingdom, and 13% from Germany. This shows a tendency for regional purchases and lower overseas purchase willingness than UK consumers.

Moving the map pin onto the other side of the world, to Australia, the consumers here are very keen on shopping overseas, making Australia a key market for cross-border eCommerce, especially for American and European companies. Cross-border eCommerce is more popular in Australia than all the Asia-Pacific region, with 61% of Australian consumers choosing overseas shopping compared to 50% of the APAC region. Out of all Australian online consumers, 41% bought products from China, 24% from the United States, and 13% from the United Kingdom (given the economic and cultural ties between the two countries).

Marking the calendars: cross-border eCommerce impact on Black Friday and Cyber Monday  

The cultural background and the purchasing power play a large role part when it comes to cross-border eCommerce, especially for key dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Globalization has had an important impact on bothglobal consumer behavior and sales trends.

According to Global-e, a cross-border solution provider, in 2019 global Black Friday cross-border purchases went up by 545% compared to the first week of November of the same year. This shows a clear trend in how the global sales react to prior to Black Friday. The publication tracked overseas orders from the United Kingdom, showing that 2019 Black Friday cross-border sales increased by 241%, compared to Black Friday in 2018.

According to ESW, the leader in DTC global Commerce, 2020 saw an emergence of the ‘Black November’ shoppingmonth,  rather than being only a peak week, which up to 2019 was circling around Black Friday. Interestingly,  ESW data show that for 2020, United Kingdom leads the pack for the normal Black Friday week. Canada leading on Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Tuesday. The peaking hours are usually between 8 and 9 in the evening, local time. Breaking down by category, luxury items were in high demand both on Black Friday as well as for the whole month of November. Sports & Outdoor items, as well as Footwear were also high performers during the Black Friday week.

Focusing on 2020, Black Friday international sales increased by 15% compared to 2019 with Thailand, France, and surprisingly India having the strongest cross-border Black Friday eCommerce growth. ESW data show that total eCommerce sales on the Black Friday week increased by 29% due to an ongoing digital transformation and the shut down of brick and mortar stores worldwide. The same 2020 data reveals the top 10 performing markets YOY (year-on-year) with Thailand’s cross-border eCommerce sales increasing by 201%, France’s by 106%, and India’s by 104%.

Black Friday 2020 YOY cross-border sales growth

Chart 1. Black Friday 2020 YOY cross-border sales growth. // Source: ESW Data, 2021

Black Friday, Cyber Monday cross-border eCommerce logistics – a challenge?

As expectations are higher than ever and in a world where next-day delivery is the new trend, cross-border eCommerce logistics face new challenges. For e-retailers, having a well-connected logistics provider can offer an unique opportunity for customers. At heyworld, each parcel is tracked, knowing at any time when the parcel was shipped, where the parcel is, and when it is expected to arrive.

With the help of our mother company, Lufthansa Cargo, we offer access to un-marketed capacities being able to handle eCommerce volumes. Our positioning between express and standard, but aiming for more express service at an excellent cost, gives us a competitive advantage while maintaining high service quality. Due to the high volumes, we are also ready to handle reverse logistics an important element in the logistics chain.

#EnablingGlobalEcommerce is our promise. We understand the impact of Black November on logistics, acknowledge and fully embrace it.

We celebrated a YOY growth-revenue rate of 24% in the month of November, 2020. Our current estimates show a sky-rocketing YOY growth-revenue rate of 416% in November, 2021.

*** heyworld is using the Black Friday term as defined by the world of eCommerce, and by no means is targeting any ethnicities nor intends to offend any individual. We fully support diversity and encourage equality and inclusion.


About heyworld.

heyworld GmbH was established in 2019, as a 100% subsidiary of Lufthansa Cargo, specialized in cross-border, eCommerce logistics. heyworld translates airfreight processes and standards into the eCommerce world (ex. conversion of chargeable weight into a parcel level-based pricing scheme). We combine airfreight, eCommerce, and logistics know-how, working with a modular service, from first mile, middle mile (air freight) to end mile. We are well Integrated into Lufthansa handling process, and connected to all service providers and process steps via API integration.