Retail

Kogan says Black Friday netted $4 million: Do longer festive sales suit Aussie shoppers?

Emma Koehn /

Ruslan Kogan built his online empire with a strong reliance on customer analytics.

The first numbers from Australian retailers’ Black Friday sales events are filtering through, with the founder of electronics site Kogan.com saying the retailer broke sales records when jumping on this year’s campaign, netting $4 million.

Ruslan Kogan tweeted the figure on Saturday morning, congratulating the Kogan.com team for their work on the event, which has also acted to kick off the Christmas sales programs of a variety of local brands.

Kogan has run Black Friday sales before, but the business has plenty of company from other Australian retailers this year, with everyone from department store Myer to Cotton On Group imprint Typo jumping aboard the Thanksgiving-led retail event.

This all happened against a backdrop of ‘will they, won’t they?’ as the retail world awaited a formal launch from Amazon Australia. 

Retailers told SmartCompany last week they could comfortably execute their own Black Friday events without the aid of Amazon.

Two days on from the big sale, founder of gifting website Yellow Octopus, Derek Sheen, says his business has seen a positive result from the event.

“Over the past 48 hours, well, we’ve seen about a thirty percent increase on [usual] sales,” Sheen says.

Yellow Octopus is also ready to launch into Amazon Marketplace, and Sheen says the business sees the Amazon saga as “an opportunity” for its business in the long-term.

“We’ve listed our products on Amazon, we’re ready for the big launch,” he says.

Sellers through Marketplace were sent details of a “soft launch” last week, but Sheen says Yellow Octopus is now just waiting for the formal push from the retail giant now, now that its products are listed on the platform.

“We’re really just waiting on them,” Sheen says.

Having watched the rise of Black Friday over the past few years, Sheen says that aside from the spectre of Amazon, the approach to festive sales has changed significantly recently.

“It seems like people are dragging these things on longer that single-day sales events,” he says, reflecting on many brands offering various deals that kicked off last Friday but will continue into later this week.

“I think the importance of [flash] sales are dying down, because these things are just going on for longer.”

This is a plus for retailers, Sheen says, suggesting Australian shoppers are more familiar with the idea of completing their Christmas shopping over weeks rather than buying exclusively through sales that last ten or so hours.

“And by having it longer, it puts less pressure on the need to have a big spike in sales in one day,” he says.

“It [Black Friday] now marks the start of the Christmas season, Christmas sales and that kind of thing.”

Sheen says entering the right search terms into Amazon’s Australian hub may reveal some of the products the business has ready and waiting on the platform.

When SmartCompany searched the site this morning, the bulk of listings were still from Australia’s Kindle store, though there was one option to invest in a Yellow Octopus gift card.

A search result for “Yellow Octopus” on Amazon.com.au

Sheen says while the wait is on for a formal launch, his team is focused on riding the wave of sales it sees through its own site in the lead-up to Christmas.

“It’s very hectic. We worked Saturday and Sunday this week, and are starting with double shifts [this week].”

SmartCompany contacted Ruslan Kogan but did not receive a response prior to publication.

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is SmartCompany's senior journalist.

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