Cross-border sales during Black Week


Cross-border trade provides an opportunity for much higher sales during Black Week, experts suggest. Where were Polish stores selling the most? Which categories were the most popular? How can online stores prepare for Black Week 2023 in a cross-border model?

Black Week is one of the most significant periods in e-commerce, with many online stores preparing all year round. In the somewhat saturated Polish market, it can be challenging to see significant sales growth. However, experts suggest that there are greater opportunities by expanding to other markets, particularly within Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

“Black Week is popular in most European and global markets. In Romania, for instance, it begins two weeks ahead of Black Friday. Consumers are increasingly looking for competitive offers, not just from their home countries. This brings substantial sales potential,” says Marta Masłowska, E-commerce Success Manager at IdoSell.

Where did Polish Merchants Sell?

During last year’s Black Week, merchants using the IdoSell platform sold the most to Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary. The total Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) from the penultimate week of November for the first three countries amounted to over 23.5 million PLN. Polish stores recorded the highest sales on Monday, November 21st.

“The growth rate of cross-border sales year-on-year is twice as high as the sales growth rate in Poland alone. This coefficient is continuously increasing. Our products are particularly appreciated by consumers from the Balkan countries and Southern-Eastern European markets,” explains Bartosz Pasek, E-commerce Success Manager at IdoSell.

What Were Polish Stores Selling?

Which industries performed best during Black Week 2022? According to data from IdoSell, the biggest growth was recorded by stores selling mobile phones and computers, clothing, pet supplies, and sports goods.

“Merchants should promote bestsellers in individual markets and research which products sell best in each country. Merchants focusing on promoting specific products can gain a lot, as their promotional budget yields return,” Piotr Kałwa, E-commerce Success Manager at IdoSell, points out.

IdoSell’s research indicates that consumer needs vary between markets. Consumers in Germany most frequently purchased pet supplies, cosmetics, tools, clothing, and footwear. Czech consumers utilized merchants who sell clothing, pet supplies, coffee, and coffee machines. Consumers from Slovakia favored categories like fashion, footwear, drones and accessories, pet supplies, and oriental food. In Romania, clothes, agricultural supplies, pet supplies, and car supplies were popular. For Hungary, the biggest sales were made by stores selling clothing, construction materials, pet supplies, and military equipment.

In cross-border sales, cultural context and consumer buying habits are important. It’s essential to reach specific consumer groups with appropriate messages. Every market has unique characteristics. For example, Czech consumers, if they do not realize they are shopping in a foreign store, may refuse to accept the goods, and they often make purchasing decisions based on reviews. In contrast, in the Balkan countries and South-Eastern Europe, products from Poland are seen as a mark of quality. Many customers in Western markets consider environmental issues when shopping, and up to 40% of them are willing to change their buying habits to protect the environment. Depending on which market a store wants to sell in, it must present its offer differently – explains Bartosz Pasek.

“However, in cross-border sales, especially during Black Week, when all needs are amplified, basic elements like agreements with couriers and suppliers used by consumers in individual markets or preferred payment systems should be taken care of.” adds Marta Masłowska.

Selling cross-border during Black Week is a demanding task. Online stores must be excellently adapted technologically and must penetrate markets with their offer successfully. Appropriate functionalities aid these processes. According to IdoSell research, in the penultimate week of November 2022, online stores that sold the most abroad used tools such as: Google Ads from IdoSell (smart algorithms that position products on Google), IdoSell Broker (for managing delivery methods), IAI Pay (for managing payment methods), IdoSell RS (a smart product recommendation system).