The biggest time of the year for retailers has arrived. But what are the key shopping dates that online retailers need to be ready for?
The first big shopping date is Black Friday. This year, it falls on Friday 24th November. Black Friday is a relatively new import from the US, where they have always had big post-Thanksgiving sale. But the concept of Black Friday is now ubiquitous in the UK and is big business. Last year, shoppers started early, with John Lewis reporting a 21 per cent spike in sales through mobile phones between 8am and 9am as people shopped online en route to work. That said, Argos’ biggest trading hour was between midnight and 1am, with 8,000 visits per minute and a staggering 15 orders per second.
Cyber Monday is Black Friday’s little sister, falling the other side of the busy Christmas shopping weekend. If shoppers have missed Black Friday, retailers often are still offering the same, or new, discounts. In the UK, Cyber Monday has been around longer than Black Friday but is now less well-known because of the massive savings Black Friday has attracted over the past few years.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday arrives on Saturday 2nd December. Originally conceptualised by American Express wanting to push home the message that Amex cards are accepted more widely than reputed, Small Business Saturday rewarded American Express users with cashback on purchases made at small and local retailers. Now it’s a more widely embraced idea, encouraging Christmas shoppers to buy from their local stores and markets, both online and on the high street.
The arrival of December can strike panic into people that haven’t even started their Christmas shopping. Now dubbed ‘Manic Monday’, the first Monday of December sees another surge of customers flooding online to shop, with savvy retailers being ready to make the most of panic buying. This year, Manic Monday falls on Monday 4th December.
Free Shipping Day
As the days to Christmas Day tick down, shoppers start to run out of time to shop online and get their purchases delivered before Christmas Day. Now’s the time that retailers start to incentivise their customers to continue to shop online, rather than head to the high street. The best way? Tempt them with free shipping on Friday 15th December.
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