Holiday Retail Calendar Shifts As International Consumers Embrace Singles Day and Black Friday Shopping Events

64% of global shoppers will shop in November as Singles Day (11.11) and Black Friday (24.11) capture the majority of consumer spend with just 23% intending to purchase in December the latest data from ESW, the leading direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce company, reveals.  Just 2% of consumers plan to start holiday shopping on Cyber Monday (27.11) as spending shifts to earlier in the month.

ESW’s Global Voices research of more than 18,000 consumers across eighteen countries, shows most shoppers in China (75%), India (60%), the UK (58%), Mexico (53%) and the U.S. (51%) will shop before Black Friday (24th November).  This highlights the growing popularity and power of Singles Day (with sales starting on 31st October and running to 11th November), with gross merchandising volume (GMV) estimated to have reached $156.4 billion this year*, which, along with Amazon Prime’s Early Access Sale taking place in mid-October, is pulling the ‘Peak’ shopping season forward for shoppers seeking out gift deals.

Black Friday, which generated $65.3 billion in 2022*, remains the most popular holiday shopping event in Brazil for 40% of shoppers, South Africa and Italy (both 39%).  However, it is now the least popular holiday shopping day in China (3%), where Singles Day originated from, India (7%) and Argentina (10%), with overall global demand dropping dramatically to just 2% for Cyber Monday deals before climbing again to 23% for the month of December.

Globally, 43% of respondent plan to spend the same amount for the 2023 holiday season as last year, with 30% spending less and 27% spending more year-on-year (YOY).  By market, a greater number of shoppers in India (60%), UAE (49%) and China (42%) will spend more, while France and Germany (both 40%), Australia (38%) and Cananda (37%) report the highest number of shoppers intending to spend less YOY.  The highest average household budgets for holiday spending were reported in the UAE ($1,134), China ($1,075) and the U.S. ($1,026) with the lowest allocations reported in Japan ($318), where 50% of respondents indicated they didn’t plan to do any holiday gift shopping, South Africa ($454) and Germany ($602).

Martim Oliveira Avillez, Chief Revenue Officer of ESW commented: “As global holiday demand shifts and peaks by both month and market, driven by differing discount events, brands and retailers must ensure they have the agility to scale into different markets quickly in order to capitalise on demand and convert during this critical final quarter sales period.”

“Globally, consumer confidence and accompanying spend remain disparate.  This is once again a reminder of the importance to brands and retailers of having easy access to international DTC ecommerce solutions to expand their customer base beyond domestic markets to grow topline revenue,” he commented further.

Globally, the most popular categories for gifting in 2023 were apparel (40%), fragrance and cosmetics (37%) and toys and games (34%).  While Gen Z and Millennials planned to spend on apparel (38% and 43% respectively), fragrance and cosmetics (37% and 44% respectively) and accessories (36% and 38% respectively).

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