Black Friday and Cyber Monday Together did not Make a “Single Day”, Again

March 10 2019

Just like last year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined were not able to outperform Chinese Single Day. On one hand, there is a long history of sale events, on the other new technologies and speed brought Alibaba to reach extraordinary numbers

With the end of November, the month of the super discounts events launched by the two extremities of the world, China and the United States, has been concluded. Started by Alibaba on November 11 and ended by Amazon on the 26th, three events recorded new sales records.

On one hand, there was the Chinese Global Shopping Festival, also called Single Day or Double 11, on the other hand, customers benefited from the American Black Friday – now exported almost in every country – and the Cyber Monday, popular e-commerce event of Amazon.

30% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. For some retailers, it’s even higher, at almost 40%.

But how did these three discount days worked and what were the results accomplished?

Black Friday is the latest custom imported from the US where American shopkeepers offer special discounts to encourage shopping and kick off Christmas expenses.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday vs Alibaba - Black friday frenzy - cifnews

© Black Friday is famous in the US to generate a general frenzy that brings people to crowd stores since early hours in the morning.

The event is usually held on Friday after Thanksgiving, according to a tradition that has been consolidated in the Sixties. This year it occurred on November 23 and it lasted, as usual, 24 hours, even if some companies decided to extend it until Monday.

It is called “black” because at that time the accounting records of shopkeepers were filled in with the pen, using red ink for loss accounts and the black one for accounts in surplus. On Friday after the Thanksgiving, thanks to these promotions, the accounts ended definitely in black.

Black Friday is seen by several financial analysts as a statistical indicator of consumer spending and consumption in the United States. It is the official start of the Christmas shopping and it can be used as a parameter to estimate the trend of the entire season. The event is so important that some big chains anticipate their sales even on Thanksgiving, creating a whole “sale week”.

The success is confirmed by the first numbers. Adobe Analytics revealed that online purchases on Friday closed with a 23.6% increase compared to last year, with shoppers spending $ 6.2 billion. For what concerns the online channel, the growth has been even better, with 53% increase while physical stores’ sales grew of 40%.

While over 165 million people shopped over the weekend, both Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales grew respectively of 28% with $ 3.7 billion sales and of 23.6% with $ 6.2 billion.

Overall sales were up for the holiday weekend but it was online shopping that made the sales rise so much. More people went online since stores put their best deals on their websites and as a result, Amazon’s sales day, the Cyber Monday, attracted those who were waiting for an e-commerce alternative.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday vs alibaba - e-commerce - cifnews

© 123rf. During the first seven hours of Black Friday, at 7:00 am, Amazon customers had already ordered more than 50,000 toys and over 50,000 household products, 7,500 vacuum cleaners, 3,500 computers and tablets.

Cyber Monday occurs the first Monday following Black Friday and it is dedicated to discounts on online stores. This custom was conceived on the internet in 2005 by the e-commerce platform and quickly became common to many other online stores.

According to Adobe statistics, Cyber Monday collected $ 7.9 billion in sales, a 19.3% increase over last year. Moreover, data from last Amazon’s event revealed a consumers’ shift to mobile shopping.

8 out of 10 of the consumers who purchased something on Cyber Monday bought on Amazon, with 80% on online shoppers making at least one transaction on the platform.

Last year Cyber Monday was already the single biggest shopping day in Amazon’s history, surpassing the same year Prime Day while orders through the company’s app increased more than 50% year over year.

“Amazon customers shopped at record levels during the Turkey 5, ordering hundreds of millions of products from toys to fashion to electronics and Amazon devices. Customers ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses alone and this is just the beginning of the holiday season,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO.

Nevertheless, even if Cyber Monday outperformed Black Friday in both revenue and purchases, there is an overseas competitor, whose single day event broke all the records. With $ 50 billion total revenue, last Alibaba’s Global Shopping Festival reconfirmed as the e-commerce leader.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday vs Alibaba - Global shopping event gala - cifnews

© This year Global Shopping Festival reached over $ 50 billion in total. Alibaba and JD lead the rankings respectively with $ 30 billion and $ 22 billion in revenue.

On the occasion of the 10-year anniversary, Alibaba announced that this year’s 11.11 event would have been the largest-ever in scale and reach and the expectations have not been disappointed as it doubled the two US counterparts together.

Created in 2009 by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, the Double 11 sales had surpassed $ 6.5 billion twenty minutes after the stroke of midnight, exceeding total Black Friday online sales. In 24 hours it managed to reach $ 30 billion in revenue thus surpassing both Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. It means that 467 million parcels have been delivered after 710 million payments were made, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Alibaba’s Single Day event now became the most important shopping event in the world. Since the first hours, this 10th edition has seen the Chinese giant breaking every GMV record.

Tmall WorldAliExpress and Lazada are the platforms that brought the Global Shopping Festival beyond the Chinese borders making possible for the 40% of consumers to make purchases from International brands.

One of the main factors that differ from the US counterparts and helped the company to reach these extraordinary numbers has been the smart use of new technologies. Payment via facial recognition has been added to thousands of stores in China in order to facilitate buyers in the act of purchase. Fast delivery has been another point of strength as many products were delivered in less than 30 minutes.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday vs Alibaba - mercedes benz arena - cifnews

© The Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai hosted the entertainment gala presented by Alibaba to greet the official start of the Shopping Festival.

However, Chinese success is also due to a growing purchasing power in China. On the contrary, in the United States, last November consumption’s growth seems not enough to offset the slowdowns in previously and following months.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are still the busiest shopping days for American stores, but traffic is declining. In 2018, it fell as much as 9% from 2017 while the number of people visiting stores that year was 4% lower than the previous.

Therefore, although it is still true what Amazon announced, that Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day worldwide in the company’s history, and the biggest day ever for small businesses selling on Amazon, it is also true that Chinese Single Day is the most successful shopping event ever.

The Global Shopping Festival has thus become the symbol of the business power of the PRC. While the number of users, as well as nations involved, grow every year, Alibaba’s sales day has become the showcase of Chinese capabilities and economic successes.

The marketplace from the Middle Kingdom once again continues to be the undisputed leader of the e-commerce market. Although Double 11 has a shorter history than US competitors, its success grew at an unprecedented rate and it does not seem to want to stop.