US Black Friday & Cyber Monday now becoming a Canadian shopping event

US Black Friday & Cyber Monday now becoming a Canadian shopping event

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the shopping days after thanksgiving in the US, have been crazy popular shopping events in the United States for years. This US weekend shopping extravaganza is now becoming a Canadian Shopping frenzy as well.

The term Black Friday comes from when retailers turn profits “into the black”..the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season in the USA. Cyber Monday refers to the Monday following Black Friday for those shoppers who are going through shopping and deal withdrawal and needed more shopping. Hence, the continuation of the offline Black Friday event turned into an online shopping extravaganza for Monday where retailers publish online deals and consumers get to feast on more shopping before the actually holiday season.

For years, both events were largely U.S. phenomena. Canadians could only watch while our American neighbors got extraordinary deals from across the retail industry. Some Canadians even drove to border cities to participate in the savings directly. Others  purchased online deals and had them shipped to either a US border address for pick up or paid the extra shipping and duty charges to get them to Canada. However, given that Canadians love, love, love deals, participating in a full fledged Black Friday and Cyber Monday event of our own was inevitable. This shopping period in the US rivals Boxing Day in Canada and we Canadians want our piece.

A combination of factors are making this event popular in Canada: Canadians are bombarded with American ads whether we want them or not. We see whats going on just 1 hour south of us. There are also many more U.S. Retailers in Canada continuing their American marketing strategy here. Canadian retailers are also trying to get Canadian consumers to shop here and not spend their dollars in the US. Thus, whether they like it or not, they must compete with American Retailers.

According to Moneris, the country’s largest credit and debit card processor, Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw an overall increase in spending of 6.51 per cent and 22.54 per cent respectively. The year prior, according to KPMG, saw an increase in Canadian Black Friday by 8.5 per cent while Cyber Monday sales grew at 15.4 per cent. Both numbers are expected to grow for next year as well.

(These numbers only track Credit Card and Debit card transactions. Thus, other forms of online payments such as Paypal are not taken into account. This means the numbers are actually larger than those published!)

According to the Moneris report, Electronics was the most popular choice with spending up 22 per cent. Clothing sales rose 13 per cent compared to last year. Apparel sales on Cyber Monday grew 77 per cent, and specialty retail by 45 per cent growth. Also, online shoe sales jumped 112 per cent compared to last year.

 

What does this mean for the Canadian Deals industry?

1. Daily Deal companies should negotiate with retailers/merchant in preparation to publish deals for this period every year, just as they would for Boxing day. Probably even more than Boxing Day since retailers can better manage inventory on sales before the holiday season instead of after the holiday season.

2. Retailers in Canada should publish Black Friday and Cyber Monday coupons, promos, offers and distribute them through various channels (social networks, affiliate networks, coupon sites) so consumers can get excited about buying from their online store.

3. For those retailers WITHOUT an online ecommerce store who would still like to participate in cybermonday shopping frenzy, there are several options: 1. publish a deal with a Daily Deal company. They are online and will drive sales to your offline store. 2. Start a simple online store with limited inventory using Shopify or Big Commerce. 3. Sell goods on Amazon, or eBay.

4. Given the level of awareness around Cyber Monday especially, we anticipate that a lot more retailers, including major ones, will be publishing deals. It also means, that many more retailers that do NOT have an online presence will want to have one specifially because of the frenzy around holiday online shopping. This bodes well for ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Big Commerce, as well as, for distribution channels like Affiliate networks, coupons sites, social network and for Daily Deal publishers who can convince retailers to use them to reach customers.

5. There will be even more deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday next year given that more and more major retailers like ToysRus, Best Buy, Future Shop and Walmart in Canada are putting their marketing muscle behind the shopping event plus the fact that 6 major US retailers are about to enter Canada. (Target, Marshalls, Bloomindales, JCrew, Nordstroms and Tanger Outlets). Given their new arrival, each will be open to channels of distribution to get the word out to consumers.

 

 

The point is this;

the retailing industry in Canada now has an additional major shopping event in the calender year. According to Willy Kruh, global chairman in retail markets at KPMG, he wouldn’t be surprised if the four days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday soon overtake Boxing Day/week as the best period for retailers in Canada.

Retailers and Deal providers….please adjust, prepare and manage accordingly for this shopping event every year.

 

 

 

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