The event shopping mega trend: It’s all about rock-bottom prices – or is it?

You know something big is going on when on just one day, on just one online marketplace, 30.8 billion US dollars are transferred across the digital counter. An impressive shopping holiday. With staggering sales. And increasingly often, even without exceptional deals.

A shopping holiday? A sales booster!

The unparalleled shopping holiday created in China – Single’s Day on November 11 – brought Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba record sales of 30.8 billion US dollars in 2018.1 In the first two minutes alone, products worth more than 1.27 billion euros were sold.2

In Germany, Single's Day is still largely unknown.
Our top shopping holidays are Black Friday and Cyber Monday – or more precisely, the entire week, Cyber Week.

1. cf. Zukunftsinstitut, Retail Report 2020, p. 43
2. cf. Zukunftsinstitut, Retail Report 2020, p. 43

The secret behind their success: Anticipation.

The anticipation of shopping events is strong. (Still) Reason number one: the appeal of bargain hunting, limited in time. You can only win, at least that’s how it appears. Although at the end of the day you’ve often spent more than you actually wanted to. It still feels good. 


And yes, it can actually get even better: China is leading the way by staging a gigantic TV event and live-streamed fashion shows on the Single's Day with a convenient in-app purchase option. Shaking the smartphone at the right moment is enough to order one of the products, which are limited in time and quantity.

Trend forecast: Offering an experience instead of a discount battle.

Although event shopping in Germany has obviously not yet reached its zenith, event shopping is already evolving. Consumers are showing slight signs of fatigue when it comes to a pure discount battle on shopping holidays. They prefer experiences that are at least as satisfying <<as a great deal>>. Event shopping – exactly as the name suggests. Ideally suited to the company and the target group. And increasingly often, also at the stationary retail level.3

The dm drugstore, for example, transformed the 2018 Black Friday into a Giving Friday – donating five percent of its sales for the day to charitable projects. This campaign not only attracted many consumers to the stores and the online shop, it was also ideally suited to the company’s anthroposophical corporate philosophy.

3 cf. Zukunftsinstitut,Retail Report 2020, p. 47

A shopping holiday for your customers. A sales holiday for you.

Whether you choose to entice customers on shopping holidays with great deals or a special shopping experience, depends on your company. In most cases, however, the objective is the same: record sales. Be sure to prepare your payment channels accordingly.

In Germany, event shopping takes place mainly online, and increasingly mobile as well. With this in mind, here are some questions you should ask yourself: Can my systems withstand the onslaught? Are we offering the right payment methods in our portfolio? Is it convenient to shop and pay in our mobile shop? If you can answer yes to these questions, there’s a good chance that Black Friday and other shopping event days will become real sales holidays from your company’s point of view.

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