One of the most established shopping days in the US, and in some other parts of the world, is Black Friday, an informal name used to describe the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday kicks off the busiest shopping period of the entire year, with 30% of all annual retail sales occurring between Black Friday and Christmas, according to The Balance. Black Friday is considered the best day for online deals on TVs, tablets, appliances, and jewellery.
This shopping event has become so popular that even cultures that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, like Spain, have fully embraced the discount day. As the shopping holiday grows increasingly more popular, Spanish retailers, such as Zara and Mango clothing stores, saw a 35% increase in sales during the Black Friday weekend in 2017 from the previous year, says Business Insider.
In the UK, an important shopping day is Boxing Day, which takes place the day after Christmas. In 2018 the number of visitors to shopping centres, high streets and retail parks dropped 3.1% compared to 2017 to make room for online shopping, according to The Guardian.
In India, the main shopping event is during Diwali, the ancient Hindu festival of lights that usually occurs in October-November. During this holiday, thousands of people hit the streets for not-to-miss bargains on clothes, jewellery, lights, and more. However, recently, ecommerce has also experienced a boost. Amazon India and Flipkart, an Indian online marketplace, owned by Walmart, started offering discounted deals on electronics like smartphones during the annual festival.
For example, one of Amazon's Diwali Special Great Indian Festival deal in 2018 was a USD 27 discount on the One Plus 6T smartphone, which was on sale for Indians for the first time. As a result, the ecommerce industry, led by Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart, was projected to acquire USD 3 billion in sales during the five-day Diwali festival alone, the Business Insider article continued.
Nevertheless, the biggest shopping day in the entire world is China’s Singles Day that takes place on November the 11th. The name Singles Day name comes from the date: 11.11. Started by university students in the 1990s, it became an anti-Valentine’s Day in which single people organised activities together. In 2009, the ecommerce conglomerate Alibaba decided to create a sales day on Singles Day on its TaoBao marketplace and it’s since become known more as a huge shopping festival than a day celebrating singletons. In 2018, the company made USD 30.8 billion worth of sales across the ecommerce giant’s various platforms in 24 hours, according to CNBC.
Another large Asian celebration is the Chinese New Year that usually takes place at the beginning of February. Not only is this event packed with sales for, but not restricted to, Chinese retailers, but it also reveals new sale opportunities around travel, food and well-being across the UK ecommerce market, and other European countries, according to Internet Retailing. 2017 has seen a 38% year-on-year increase in orders for advertisers during the core three-day period of the Chinese New Year. Orders of cameras and photography equipment grew by 19% year-on-year, while the health and wellness vertical benefited from a considerate 83% expansion. On the other hand, food and drink experienced a 28% rise and a 76% increase in traffic online, suggesting an appetite for part essentials.
Therefore, even if the Chinese New Year is not as large as the Singles’ Day in terms of ecommerce opportunity for international brands, it is becoming an increasingly important date for retailers outside of China.
Overall, some of the success stories and the high percent sales/ revenues presented above underline the fact that holidays and shopping events are great for brand exposure and product discovery, as long as retailers possess the right tools to convert one-time shoppers before they forget about their offer.