Top retail expert Bob Phibbs believes that sales events such as Black Friday and Singles’ Day have become a crucial part of the online shopping sector.
Phibbs has spent nearly 30 years helping retail businesses grow their brands, so is well placed to comment on marketing techniques and how they work.
The term Black Friday dates back to Philadelphia in the 1960s, when retailers aggressively discounted selected items to create a sales frenzy around the city.
Over the next couple of decades, the event was widely known as the day that retailers recovered trading losses and moved back into the black.
The arrival of the internet sparked a global shift towards online shopping, and the trend has continued apace since the turn of the century.
Black Friday has since become big business, with at least $40 billion spent by consumers during the event in each of the last 11 years.
It has expanded from initially being staged over a single day into a multi-day event, with many retailers dripping out deals weeks in advance.
In a recent interview with Betway Casino, Phibbs explained why Black Friday has become a global phenomenon in recent years.
“It’s the biggest of the big,” he said. “The Walmarts and even Amazons launched their Black Friday deals back in October. We can also look at Prime Day in the summer.
“There used to be Cyber Monday that was a big contract before we had apps and persons had internet in their homes.
“People derived back to effort and did their shopping on Monday because that was the only time they could essentially grow online.
“That’s not the case anymore. People have more time to do their shopping.”
The success of Black Friday in the Western world has spawned several similar events, most notably in China where Singles’ Day has become a huge hit.
This year’s event staged earlier this month was hugely successful, with retailers Alibaba and JD.com setting a record-breaking $139 billion of sales.
Mexico’s El Buen Fin and Australia’s Click Frenzy are other online shopping events that have generated massive revenues in those respective countries.
These type of innovative Black Friday sales drives will continue to grow in popularity as consumers gravitate further towards online shopping.
Phibbs believes that the days where people had to queue for eight hours to grab a $10 television from a land-based Black Friday sale are now long gone.
“We don’t really want those days to come back because it’s almost impossible to manage,” he added.
“But I think we’re going to continue to realise more niche events that can become people excited.
“We’re positively seeing more revolution coming out of Asia, and other places as well – look at Singles’ Day.
“Chinese New Year used to be a niche item, now it’s everywhere. It gives you a chance to go out to a not the same consumer and it stretches you a chance to give persons the sensitivity that they matter.”