Shopping Days - November will be the ultimate shopping month
November holds three major global shopping events: Singles Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Regarding the last two, it’s likely that in future they will merge to form the ultimate online shopping discount month. Instead of having the two separate shopping days, it’s very possible that we’ll head more towards a sort of ‘Cyber November’, with an increasing number of people preferring to take advantage of the sales online. According to IMRG, 2016 saw an estimated online spend of £1.23bn on Black Friday, 12.2% higher than in 2015. They also found that 44% of the UK’s Top 100 retailers launched Black Friday sales in the 4 days before Black Friday, with many continuing into the following week after Cyber Monday.
It’s clear that in the UK, as well as in many other countries, people are leaning more towards Cyber Monday than Black Friday, with a strong preference for shopping from the comfort of their own homes than getting caught up in crowded shopping centers. Retailers are picking up on this and offering Black Friday discounts both online and in-store, as well as extending the discounts to last for a couple of weeks. This year, Amazon’s Black Friday sales lasted for 35 days – what was once a one day event can now last over a month.
Ecommerce marketing agency Absolunet made a good point about the Cyber November phenomenon:
“Retailers would benefit from spreading their promotions out over an entire month, making adjustments along the way, instead of betting it all on just one weekend. Logistics would be easier to manage, not to mention that they’d avoid the headaches related to the hordes of shoppers that can grind some stores – online or physical – to a halt during Black Friday weekend.”
So, with more logistical practicality and more opportunity for sales, having a ‘Cyber November’ is a definite possibility, and one that retailers would no doubt benefit from. Another big shopping day that UK retailers would be wise to get involved with is the Chinese shopping festival Singles Day, or Double 11. Commercialized by the Alibaba Group in 2009, Singles Day has now become the biggest global shopping day. This year, the Alibaba Group raked in $17 billion, with 657 million orders placed, just in 24 hours.
But it’s not just Chinese retailers that are benefiting from this retail boom. In 2015, Marks and Spencer were very successful as they sold select products on Tmall, with sales going up 80% from the previous year. This year, 33% of Chinese consumers were said to have bought items from international brands. Amee Chande, Alibaba Group managing director, UK, said:
“Increasingly we see Chinese consumers searching for unique food items that represent a culture or lifestyle they cannot find in China. McVitie’s is one such brand that has created a wonderfully British product that has the heritage and quality that the Chinese consumer is looking for.”
With a market that’s got a strong interest in British products, and who are looking to spend on a day dedicated to shopping, it’s a no brainer: Singles Day is the next shopping event that UK brands need to start tapping into, and hopefully 2017 will bring just that.
These are just a handful of possible trends that may occur next year – whether they do come to light is another matter, but one thing is for certain. No matter what the specific trends are, judging by everything that’s happened this year, 2017 will undoubtedly reveal a great deal of exciting advancements for the ecommerce industry.