While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still mainly US-based events, it is beginning to extend its reach and gain awareness across Asia. During the 2019 event, we witnessed promotions across China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Some retailers have also increased the intensity of their promotions this year, as they hope to boost sales.
However, Black Friday, celebrated on the first Friday after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, is still very small compared with China’s home-grown Singles Day.
There are no official sales figures for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in Asia in 2019, however Black Friday generated US$7.4 billion in sales in the US and Cyber Monday was estimated to have resulted in US$9.4 billion in sales, according to Adobe Analytics. This pales in comparison to Alibaba’s Singles Day, which topped US$38 billion this year.
In regards to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions in Asia, it was mainly about pricing discounts and free shipping, whereas Alibaba’s Singles Day promotional tactics were much more comprehensive and included customized gift boxes, promotions through live-streaming and offline pop-up stores.
Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are starting to gain traction in Asia, they are unlikely to eclipse the intensity of Singles Day. With so few retailers taking part, there is little incentive for others to get on board next year – particularly as such promotional activity will hurt margins in the run up to the Christmas trading season.
It is also the case that Singles Day resonates much more with consumers in Asia, and the date will clearly be marked in shopper’s diaries ahead of time. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are unlikely to reach that level of relevance.
Here we provide a round-up of some of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions that were run across Asia during this year’s event.
Amazon held Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions in China, ranging from cheap deals to discounts across different product categories:
Kaola, part of Alibaba Group, enabled Chinese consumers to collect cash discounts of up to RMB888 in the form of digital red packets during Black Friday:
Amazon held Cyber Monday promotions in India, offering discounts of up to 60% off for selected international brands.
Sephora offered 15% off discounts during Black Friday and online exclusives during Cyber Monday for Indonesian customers:
Amazon offered both Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions in Singapore, ranging from flash sales, deals across different categories and also dollar deals.
Sephora offered 15% off discounts during Black Friday and online exclusives during Cyber Monday for Hong Kong customers.