We’re entering the last quarter of 2021. The tail end of the year is basically the holiday season. This means that the shopping season and retail marketing campaigns will only start to get busier and busier.
Based on Criteo’s global retail data shows that e-commerce sales were 24% higher than pre-pandemic levels. It shows that consumers have adapted to new shopping habits, which consist mainly of online shopping. And it looks like they aren’t breaking these new habits any time soon. Consumers now lean heavily on e-commerce for its 24/7 availability, convenience, and safety (compared to in-store shopping).
Here is the list of the upcoming shopping holidays that you should start preparing for your marketing campaigns:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- 9.9, 10.10, 12.12
- Singles’ Day (11.11)
- Boxing Day
- New Year
Halloween is highly celebrated in western countries like the USA, UK, Australia, and Europe. However, it is not as highly celebrated in Asian countries. The NRF (National Retail Federation) predicted that “consumer spending on Halloween-related items is expected to reach an all-time high of $10.14 billion, up from $8.05 billion in 2020.”
They also mentioned that in 2021, consumers are already shopping for Halloween items earlier than ever. 45% were already planning to shop back in September or even earlier, and 39% during the first 2 weeks of October.
2. Thanksgiving & Black Friday
Thanksgiving and Black Friday are considered two of the busiest shopping days. Black Friday usually occurs the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the US. Traditionally, Black Friday is celebrated in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, etc. and lately many other countries have been joining in.
Together, Thanksgiving and Black Friday in 2020 raked in $14.13 billion in online sales. That’s $9.03 billion spent on Black Friday and $5.1 billion spent on Thanksgiving—which is a 19% increase over 2019 (blackfriday.com). That’s saying a lot, given that 2020 was the pandemic year.
SEMrush compared two groups of advertisers based on their average monthly budgets. Based on the advertising trends, retailers tend to invest more in online ads from October onwards (see chart below).
Fun facts about Black Friday:
- In 2020, the most expensive keyword was “samsung tablet black friday,” with a CPC of $900. With that keyword cost being higher than the cost of the actual product, it seems impossible for anyone to make any profit from advertising a Samsung Galaxy tablet (SEMrush).
- A full $2.9 billion of Black Friday sales were made on smartphones (techcrunch).
- 2020 was a record-breaking year for online shopping: 100 million consumers shopped online with up 8% YoY (source: NRF). This shift in behavior is probably due to the global pandemic.
3. Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday comes right after Thanksgiving. It was created by the National Retail Federation (NRF) as a digital counterpart of Black Friday. It’s very popular in the USA, UK, Australia, and 25 other countries. Last year, Cyber Monday online sales hit $10.8 billion in the United States alone. And compared to Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Cyber Monday has been earning more online sales consistently.
Here are some must-know facts about Cyber Monday (USA) :
- The online sales of Cyber Monday 2020 reached $10.8 billion, making it the biggest e-commerce selling day of all time (CNBC, 2020)!
- Cyber Monday 2020 exceeded the e-commerce revenue of Black Friday 2020 by $1.8 billion (Statista, 2020).
- The buying rate reached $12 million per minute during last year’s Cyber Monday peak hour, which was around 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Statista, 2020).
4. Asia Q4 Golden Period (9.9 to 12.12)
Inspired by China’s Singles Day 11.11, Alibaba was very successful in offering huge discounts. It’s now considered as one of the biggest online sale events. Shopee started the 9.9 event in 2018 with their 9.9 Super Shopping Day, and now it is celebrated annually across SEA and Taiwan. The popular sale events eventually expanded to 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 (or more known as Singles’ Day), and 12.12. Those dates have become the region’s biggest year-end sales and the golden period for Q4 for top SEA e-Commerce platforms.
In Indonesia, HarBelNas (Hari Belanja Nasional or National Shopping Day) is one of the top celebrated online shopping days and it occurs annually every December 12. Big marketplaces like Shopee, Lazada, Tokopedia, Zalora, compete for users’ attention by giving out big discounts.
Here are some highlights from Shopee’s 9.9 Super Shopping Day 2020
Fun Facts about the Q4 Golden Period (9.9 to 12.12):
- In 2019, Shopee hit more than 113 million deals offered to buyers. They also achieved a peak sales volume of 187,606 items in just one minute (source: J&T Express). Meanwhile, over 12 million items were sold in the first hour of its 9.9 Super Shopping Day (source: techwireasia.com).
- The number of hours streamed on Shopee Live increased by 200% in Singapore and Malaysia, and live streaming hit a record high of 120 million views in Indonesia between February and April 2020 (source: techwireasia.com).
- Live streams were watched 3x longer than usual days, while two and a half more items were purchased during live streams in that period compared to an average day (source: techwireasia.com).
5. Christmas & Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day, on the 26th of December. Originally, it was a holiday to give gifts to the poor in the United Kingdom.
Now, Boxing Day is mostly known as a shopping holiday. It is highly celebrated not only in the UK but also in several other European countries (Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, Poland, Bulgaria), Australia, and New Zealand.
Some shopping trivia about Christmas & Boxing Day:
- There was an 80% rise in online shopping in the UK (source: retailsearch.org).
- A survey was conducted in the USA last 2020 asking about the “time when Christmas gift shopping would start” and 48% said that they start shopping before the month of December (source: statista).
- Retail sales during 2020’s November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3% percent to $789.4 billion compared to the same period in 2019 (source: NRF).
6. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
The new year is probably not one of the most festive retail holidays, especially if you compare it to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 9.9, and so on.
However, it is still very highly regarded all over the world because everyone is celebrating it together regardless of tradition or culture (probably with the exception of China, since they have their own new year celebration).
New Year is also a perfect time for clearance sales and Year-End sales where retailers give out huge discounts. Techcrunch mentioned data from Verizon’s* Holiday Retail Index (tracks daily traffic to the top 25 online retailers in the USA) that shows both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day saw significant percentage increases in online visits, over last year.
Are you ready to scale up your marketing campaigns efforts this holiday season?
From the list above, you can definitely see the rapid holiday trends for retailers: :
- Traditional holidays with marketing piggybacked on it (such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year)
- Retail holidays born solely for the purpose of being commercialized (such as 9.9 to 12.12, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day)
The tendency of people to shop before or during the traditional holiday is related to the purpose of celebrating the festive season. For example, people are buying Christmas gifts for their family and friends. Meanwhile, retail holidays created solely for shopping are when shoppers participate due to irresistible bargains.
One thing’s for sure—Q4 is a lucrative season for retailers and you can take advantage of this season by investing more in your advertising spend and efforts. Learn more on how you can maximize your spending before the year ends by contacting our experts at Kaliber Asia.
- Digital Advertising
- Digital Marketing
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