Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner. America’s most popular shopping weekend is usually great for logistics professionals, and this year promises to be no different. With over $13 billion in combined sales expected, everyone from shippers to last-mile delivery companies can benefit from the seasonal sales boom.
But “buying events” like Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t the only big consumer days on the calendar. In fact, cultures around the world have different holidays and special events where sales peak.
Here are a few more popular consumer days every freight forwarder should know about.
Super Saturday and Boxing Day
The days around Christmas remain especially fruitful for sales. Super Saturday is one of the busiest and highest-volume shopping days around the world. The event, marking the last Saturday before Christmas, is usually the last chance for procrastinating shoppers to buy Christmas gifts. This year, Super Saturday is expected to be one of the busiest non-e-commerce sales events of the year given its close proximity to Christmas (December 22nd). Christmas is one of the most popular holidays globally, and planning for late shopper demands will always be a good idea.
While Super Saturday happens too late during peak season for shippers to take advantage of the last-minute rush, last-mile delivery services can expect brisk business leading up to the season. And ironically, Christmas is immediately followed by “returns season,” when logistics providers are faced with the reverse: shipping all those unwanted gifts back to the warehouse.
The UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and others celebrate Boxing Day on December 26th. Last year, nearly $6 billion was spent in the UK the day after Christmas, while Australians spent over $2 billion on Boxing Day deals.
E-commerce promotional days
Amazon and Alibaba, two of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, both host their own promotional sales bonanzas. Amazon’s Prime Day, a multi-day sales event held in July, was their biggest special sales event to date, with experts estimating over 100 million products sold in 36 hours. Other large e-commerce companies also experienced a boost in sales during Amazon’s Prime Day event this year, indicating that the mid-summer sales celebration has the potential to be a rising tide that lifts all boats in an otherwise slow shopping season.
In China, Alibaba just wrapped up their Singles Day. The promotion, which started back in 2009, celebrates single people and has become an informal holiday in East Asia. Alibaba reported $30 billion in sales during the one-day event, held on November 11. Singles Day doesn’t just benefit Chinese retailers: international sellers from countries like the United States and Japan also see big one-day sales on Alibaba and JD.com. Expect both sales events to continue, and for other retailers to take part in what are quickly becoming key e-commerce sales dates.
Diwali is observed by multiple religions by more than a billion people, making it one of the most celebrated holidays in the world. The Festival of Light falls in either October or November. The holiday takes place over five days, but preparations begin well in advance. In India and around the world, Diwali marks an auspicious time to spend money, especially as the holiday celebrates the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Some estimates say Indians spend nearly $4 billion on purchases during Diwali.
Chinese New Year
The shipping industry typically recognizes Chinese New Year as the lull after the holiday-induced peak season. But over $100 billion is spent during the week-long celebration in February, and China, the world’s second-largest importing country, stocks up on consumer goods for the start of the new year.
Cash and small gifts with food and sweets are the most popular gifts during the holiday, but clothes and toys are also exchanged.
Ten years ago, US-based shippers were primarily focused on Christmas. Now there are many buying events around the world, and they’re not all that obvious. To keep up with the global e-commerce demand, understanding different global consumption patterns is vital. That way you can ship -- and celebrate -- year-round.
From all of us at CoLoadX, happy holidays, and happy shipping!