There are many challenges that merchants need to be aware of when selling internationally. In addition to understanding their market and consumer behaviour in the different countries they are selling in, they also need to be mindful of the different sales dates, as these periods are not uniform throughout Europe. Keep reading to find out more about key e-commerce sales dates in various European countries.
There are no set periods for sales in the UK, you can find them at most times of the year. However, there are several key dates that emerchants selling in the UK need to be aware of. Summer sales tend to start around the end of June, and winter sales normally start on Boxing Day (26th December).
Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer huge opportunities for online retailers to boost their sales. According to Statista, in 2022 British people were expected to spend £4.81 billion online during the Black Friday weekend (from Friday to Cyber Monday).
In France, sales periods occur each year during winter and summer. Sales period dates are imposed by French legislation, so the official dates have to be respected. In 2022, the winter sales started on the 12th of January and finished on the 8th of February, while the summer sales took place between the 22nd of June and the 19th July. Both these periods represent a great opportunity for merchants to increase their sales.
However, big international sales events like Black Friday are also relevant to e-tailers and in 2020 the Cyber Weekend was responsible for the highest online spending in France (513 million euros). In light of Cyber Weekend, in 2018 the French Days were born to boost French commerce twice a year. If you are a merchant you should also be aware that you can only apply a promotion to your product during a sales period in France if it has been sold for at least one month before the beginning of the sales period.
Overall, end-of-year sales remain the sales highlight of the year for sellers in France, and Amazon is the most successful online store during this time of the year.
Since the new competition law came into effect on 3rd July 2004 seasonal sales in Germany can be carried out at any time and there are no restrictions in regards to the products category. However, it is very common in Germany to do winter sales from the 25th of January to the 5th February and summer sales from the 27th July to the 8th of August. Most shops start with a 20% discount, which increase during the period. Like in other European countries, Black Friday and Cyber Monday also account for a high sales rate in Germany. According to a Statista survey, 74% of respondents indicated they planned to shop on Black Friday in hopes of finding better deals on Christmas presents.
In the Spanish market, retailers are free to organise sales when they want. Generally, summer sales start on the 1st of July and last until the 31st of August, but this can vary. On the other hand, Winter sales tend to start on the 7th of January and last until the beginning of March. In Spain, January and July are usually the best discount months for shoppers and concerning the overall e-commerce landscape, in 2022 Spain is expected to generate around €28.80bn in revenue. This amount is lower than the year before since the Russia-Ukraine War has negatively impacted global economies.
In Italy, sales periods are regulated by regions and the winter sales start at the beginning of January, whereas the summer sales begin the first week of July. Both sales seasons last around 30 days. In 2022, the e-commerce market is expected to generate €40.40 billion in revenue. Despite the current war situation in Ukraine and Russia, this value is slightly higher than in 2021.
Previously, Scandinavian countries organised sales twice a year, in both winter and summer. However, this has changed in recent years and mid-season sales are now very common. One of the reasons for this can be attributed to unstable weather during summertime, meaning it is difficult to predict the demand for summer fashion articles. If the weather is still lovely in August, retailers cannot start to sell autumn clothes as planned and need to continue with the summer sales and vice versa.
Although there are no fixed sales dates for Sweden, Finland, and Norway, other specific dates need to be highlighted. In Sweden, it is typical to start sales after Christmas day and right before Midsommer (beginning of June), in Norway sales are similar to Swedish sales periods, and lastly, sales in Finland take place before Christmas and in the summer at the end of June.
Regarding the e-commerce growth in 2022, Sweden leads the way with expected revenue of €13.71bn, followed by Norway which is projected to reach €9.25bn by the end of the year, and Finland around €6.61bn.
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