What happens on Black Friday?
These days, Black Friday signifies a sale period, or the boom before Christmas sales. Many retailers across the globe, knowing this is now a worldwide shopping event, offer sales, discounts, and promotions to rival competitors.
Consumers may wish to start shopping for early Christmas bargains, or might just be looking for a good deal on some of the top items Aussies shop for, including clothing, food and alcohol, and electronics.
Many retailers may open early, or even start offering their discounts in the weeks or days leading up to Black Friday. In Australia, it is now second only to Boxing Day as our largest shopping event. You may have already noticed your email has been flooded with retailers advertising promotional codes, sign-up offers, specialised discounted items or exclusive membership deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Though Black Friday used to be primarily an American event (as we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia) the rise of international online retail has forced Australian retailers to get on board, or risk losing sales to American online merchants.
Case in point - a recent survey found that in 2017, nearly one in four Aussies had never even heard of Black Friday. By 2020, this number shrank to just four per cent, while search volume for the term 'Black Friday' increased by 44 per cent in the last three years in Australia, showing the widespread attention it now has in our country.
Why is it called Cyber Monday?
‘Cyber Monday’ is a term invented in 2005 that refers to people who search for bargains the Monday immediately following Black Friday.
The term ‘Cyber Monday’ became popularised in 2005 during the infancy of the internet-age. Many shoppers would use Black Friday simply to window shop and research what products they would purchase for Christmas. As Black Friday sales began to extend beyond 24 hours and were offered online, the Monday became a boom day for the digital retail space.
There is also conjecture that Cyber Monday came to rise as office workers in the US returned to their desks and went online shopping, rather than doing work.
These days, while Black Friday has targeted both online and in-store retail, Cyber Monday is a major sales event exclusively for online retailers - offering discounts and promo codes for a short time period. The event is ultimately aimed at encouraging people to shop online.
It seems this will prove popular - following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce platform Shopify found that 90 per cent of Aussie shoppers will do so online. Only half of Aussie shoppers are expected to set foot in a store.
There are also other online ‘shopping events’ to put on the calendar, including Singles Day – an online shopping event originating in China to celebrate celebrated on November 11 each year. While this is a massive event across the world, it is less popular in Australia, where we focus on Remembrance Day.
How long do Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales go for?
While both shopping events are referred to as singular days, many retailers have offers and discounts in the lead-up to and aftermath of these events – so keep your eyes peeled for a bargain!