Green Friday and the Great Black Boycott

– PART 3 –

Cyber Weekend is different now. In previous years, retailers could count on YoY increases in online conversions, queues around the block, countdowns to retail doors flying open and the rush to grab a bargain. But now? Consumer behaviour has shifted and retailers have pivoted. What did this mean for Cyber Weekend 2021?

In this blog series, we’ve covered why retailers are boycotting the sales season and what consumers actually want from retailers when it comes to green initiatives. Not surprisingly, consumers expect more. They’re demanding change with their wallets – and it’s happening faster than you think!

Almost a quarter (22%) of British consumers actively consider how carbon friendly the delivery of a product will be before making an online purchase, up 88.1% YoY.

We salute the retailers standing up for change, living their brand values and boycotting the frenzied sale weekend. It’s been a rough couple of years for retailers, but consumers are starting to wise-up to the impact their shopping habits are having on the environment. Yes, retailers need to move stock and make a profit, but is this really the best option for retailers, consumers and the planet?

Was it worth it? Black Friday / Cyber Monday Results are in!

Cyber Weekend results are a bit of a mixed bag globally. With consumers fatigued with perpetual sales, concerns with product availability and economic uncertainty, it was always going to be a struggle for retailers.

How Shoppers Behaved

Green friday graph - how consumers behaved

[ Compared with 2020 – NOSTO ]

Online Store Visits 7% 11% 7% 5%
Online Store Sales 2% 4% 1% 11%
Online Conversion Rates 2% 7% 0.6% 1%
Online Average Order Value 2% 12% 9% 8%

[ Compared with 2020 – NOSTO ]

Cyber Weekend YoY Performance




[ IMRG ]



* [ Nov 2020 v Nov 2021 ]

Is Green Friday Having a Moment?

Given the tough retail conditions, it’s difficult to conclusively say that consumers are shunning the sales season for environmental reasons. Most markets across the globe experienced little or negative YoY growth, but that’s not really surprising after the year that was 2021, was it?

What we can conclusively say is that consumers expect more. There’s a wave of consumer activism sweeping the globe and brands need to pay attention. The millennial generation is the greatest driving the change; they’re holding brands to account for their positions on political and social issues. Millenials are 32% more likely to prefer companies that reduce energy use, 30% more likely to prefer ones that donate to charity and 22% more likely to prefer ones that reduce packaging, according to Digital Commerce 360.

Millennials are 40% more likely to research companies to find out about their contribution to green initiatives.

Why Consumers Start Shopping with a New Retailer Based on its Positive Impact Activities


The retailer’s values aligned with the shopper’s personal values.


The retailer’s approach was authentic and consistent.


They felt the retailer helped them be a more conscious consumer.


The retailer championed causes that were personally important to the shopper.


What Can You Do? How to Make Sustainability a Key Business Priority

Green Friday icon

Rethink Inventory Management.

Ensure every piece of inventory is available to be sold, no matter where they are located, with the implementation of a Distributed Order Management System. Minimise waste and distressed stock.

Assess your options for excess stock – sending to landfill is not an option. Consider donating to charity (Good360, In Kind Direct) or selling in a different market via global marketplaces.

Optimise Fulfillment Processes.

Offer customers the option to Click & Collect their order, or ship from the closest location to the customer for the lowest environmental impact by the delivery.

Engage organisations such as Carbon Checkout, Cloverly or Future Neutral to give customers the option to offset their carbon at checkout.

Consider low impact packaging.

Green friday icon leaf

Actively Work to Reduce Returns.

Prevent returns by helping consumers make an informed buying decision with descriptive, thorough product content. Include product descriptions, images, videos, reviews, FAQs and more.

Offer return options that are convenient to your customer. 84% of shoppers want to be able to choose whether to return items in store or online. An instore return is definitely the most environmentally efficient option, and will also give your customer the opportunity to exchange the item.

Return smarter: If you’re having returns shipped back to a 3PL, consider having them held and consolidated over a period of time, and shipped back to your warehouse together.

Consider if the return is worth it – can the customer gift it or recycle it themselves, rather than shipping it back?

Like to know more?