Business / #ForbesBusiness

December 19, 2017,   7:00 PM

How Black Friday/White Friday 2017 Impacted Regional E-Commerce

Forbes Middle East


souq1 1635x1090

White Friday, popularly known in the U.S. as Black Friday, draws thousands of people to shop both online and in store every year. It is called White Friday in the region because Friday is the Muslim day of prayer, so White Friday is more culturally appropriate. This year, regional e-commerce sites cashed in on the trend by offering discounts to rival their brick and mortar counterparts.

To find out how their performance was affected by White Friday, Forbes Middle East send out questionnaires to e-commerce platforms asking about gross merchandise value, the companies’ presence in the region, top markets, top selling categories, subscriber base, and how their sales were affected during White Friday 2017 compared with last year.

Most companies doubled or tripled their sales. Dubai-based, which is the oldest e-commerce site surveyed, logged the biggest shopping event in its history with one million deals in a four-day period, and with double the number of sales compared to last year’s White Friday event. Jumia, which was founded in Nigeria in 2012, drew the same number of sales at, despite a longer White Friday sales period of 31 days. The youngest company, Algerie Market, was founded in 2016 and earned $40,000 in sales during its 10-day White Friday period.

Electronics were the highest selling category for most of the e-commerce websites that participated in the questionnaire.

  • White Friday length: 4 days

  • Number of deals: 1 million

  • White Friday 2017 versus 2016: More than double the number of sold items

  • Top selling categories: fashion, beauty, electronics, grocery

  • Active customers: N/A

  • Headquarters: U.A.E.

  • Founded: 2005


  • White Friday length: 31 days

  • Number of deals: 1 million

  • White Friday 2017 versus 2016: N/A

  • Top selling categories: Phones and tablets

  • Active customers: 1.6 million

  • Headquarters: Nigeria

  • Founded: 2012


  • White Friday length: 4 days

  • Number of sales: 300,000

  • White Friday 2017 versus 2016: Triple the number of sold

  • Top selling categories: Electronics and fashion

  • Active customers: 5 million

  • Headquarters: U.A.E.

  • Founded: 2013


  • White Friday length: 4 days

  • Number of sales: N/A

  • White Friday 2017 versus 2016: 25% growth in gross merchandise value

  • Top selling categories: Phones, TVs and laptops

  • Active customers: 500,000

  • Headquarters: U.A.E.

  • Founded: 2013

Algerie Market

  • White Friday length: 10 days

  • Number of sales: $40,000 gross merchandise value

  • White Friday 2017 versus 2016: N/A

  • Top selling category: Appliances

  • Active customers: 3,000

  • Headquarters: Algeria

  • Founded: 2016

Research by Nermeen Abbas, Amany Zaher, Mohammed Helmy

Recommended Articles