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Continued Upward Trend in Consumers Planning Online Purchases

The survey conducted by One Hour Translation analyzed the responses of over 6,600 consumers in 9 leading economies: the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Spain, Brazil and Mexico

Thirty-eight percent of consumers surveyed by One Hour Translation, the world’s largest online translation agency, plan to make online purchases during the November-December period, up from 32 percent in 2017. In the U.S. specifically the increase was from 35 percent last year to 39 percent in the 2018 holiday season. The survey found that the trend of online purchases in the U.S. on Black Friday, which this year falls on Nov. 23, is slated to further intensify from 15 percent last year to 18 percent in 2018 and Cyber Monday on Nov. 26 has reached the same level of popularity among American consumers.

The results were not uniform and depended on the country as well as the event. Major findings included an across the board rise in plans for online purchases during the period in the U.S. and in Britain and a drop in the popularity of Black Friday in Japan, Germany, France, Spain.

The survey was conducted through Google Consumer Surveys. The question posed was “On which day or days are you planning to do your online shopping this year?”. Respondents were allowed to select more than one shopping event. The number of responses analyzed in the U.S. was 762 and ranged from 667 to 788 in each of the eight other countries—Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Spain Canada, Brazil and Mexico.

Globally, the number of consumers surveyed who plan to make online purchases on Black Friday declined slightly to 17 percent compared to 18 percent in 2017; Cyber Monday was unchanged at 6 percent; Singles’ Day rose one percentage point to 5 percent; 7 percent during other shopping events during the two-month period compared to 5 percent in 2017; 4 percent on Super Saturday; 7 percent on Christmas and Boxing Day, both of which were on the survey for the first time. Out of the countries surveyed, Boxing Day, on December 26th, is celebrated mainly in Britain.

The results for the U.S. point several interesting trends. Cyber Monday, which falls this year on November 26th, has become as popular as Black Friday, with 18 percent of those surveyed intending to make purchases, up from 16 percent in 2017. The largest increase was for plans to purchase on the Chinese holiday Singles’ Day on November 11th, with a four-fold jump from 1 percent last year to 4 percent in 2018. Christmas day and the day after Christmas (December 25th and 26th) were included in the survey for the first time and three percent of the participants said they had plans to buy on those dates. The number of respondents planning to make purchases during ‘other shopping events’ during the two months doubled to 6 percent. There was also a significant drop in the percentage of people surveyed who had no plans for online purchases, falling to 61 percent compared to 65 percent in 2017.

In Britain, plans for online purchases during the period rose to 33 percent of those surveyed, up from 28 percent a year earlier. The figure for Black Friday 2018 remained 19 percent – as in 2017; Cyber Monday saw a rise from 4 percent to 6 percent in the online purchases’ intentions, and intentions for Singles’ Day rose from 2 percent to 4 percent. Rate of respondents planning online purchases during Super Saturday 2018 were 3 percent, 4 percent during Christmas and Boxing Day and the rate of respondents planning online purchases during other shopping events in Britain rose from 4 percent in 2017 to 6 percent in 2018.

An opposite trend in regard to Black Friday emerged in Canada, Germany, France and Spain where declines were reported. Canadian rate dropped from 26 percent in 2017 to 21 percent in 2018; Spanish rate dropped from 22 percent to 15 percent; in France the rate declined from 21 percent to 16 percent; in Germany from 19 percent to 13 percent, and in Japan from 10 percent to 4 percent. Brazil and Mexico were surveyed for the first time in 2018 and results for Black Friday were 35 percent and 17 percent respectively.

“The results of the survey provide a detailed picture of consumer preferences regarding online purchases over the holiday period and identify interesting trends,” says Yaron Kaufman, CMO and co-founder of OHT. He believes the most significant trends are the overall increase of consumer intentions to carry out online purchases over the holiday period compared to last year and the strengthening of Black Friday’s dominance as ‘king of the shopping events’ in the U.S., alongside its significance in Brazil and Britain, which contrasts with the date’s declining significance in nearly all other markets surveyed.

Kaufman concluded: “If U.S. e-commerce companies want to stop the weakening of Black Friday in Euorpe and Japan, they should direct their marketing efforts towards these teritorries. Among other measures, U.S. companies should consider localizing their websites to the languages of their target countries, since many studies have proven that consumers over the globe preferring making purchases in their own mother tongue.”

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