By Matt Robertson, Co-CEO, NetDespatch.
The key driver is the engagement of your customers. From a retail perspective if their customers choose to engage with a particular peak shopping day, they will want to ensure they are serving their customers' needs and engaging themselves.
When you look at the sheer number of major discount days on the calendar now, from more well-known ones like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to the likes of Green Monday, you have to take into consideration that many of these didn't even exist three or four years ago, so it is completely possible that more may spring up.
There are also cultural implications, for example China Singles Day is on 11th November every year, which here in the UK is Armistice Day. So the question is, do people (both retailers and consumers) want to engage with a major shopping day on Remembrance Day?
There will also be those retailers that chose not to interact with peak shopping days. Following the chaos that ensued during Black Friday 2014, Asda decided to step away from the shopping bonanza in 2015, instead choosing to go with the promise of offering great deals throughout the year. So if other retailers have bad experiences which impact on the organisations brand, they too could choose to take this stance.
What do the statistics from these days tell us about shopper behaviour and trends?
The statistics around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the other major discount days, tell us that the intense shopping activity is no longer consigned to just those specific days. With more and more retailers offering deals earlier in the season, statistics point to it being an extended event, potentially stretching out to a month long event. This is actually positive, not only for retailers but for the whole supply chain as having one or two days of intense shopping activity puts enormous strain on both the retail and logistics side of things.
From a trends perspective, the statistics also show that more and more consumers are engaging with major discount days, or maybe we should refer to them as major discount events because as outlined above these are now spread over two weeks to a month. People are now planning their shopping around these events, people are expecting, and as ecommerce continues to grow organically more and more brands will engage with these major discount events.
You will also see more and more SMB's engaging. Their ability to take advantage of these opportunities is being made easier due to the improved despatch and fulfilment processes brought about by platforms such as ours. It's now a great opportunity for them to maximise sales as well as engage with their customers.