It’s that crazy time of year again when the retailers are all gearing up for the shopping explosion that is Christmas. With a close to make or break mentality over the next couple of weeks, the retailers across the globe are looking to out do each other to get you in the door or clicking online.

Just a few weeks ago China’s online retail giant Alibaba ran it’s enormous single day sale – “Singles Day” . Alibaba reported that it pulled in $9.3bn (£5.9bn) in sales from its annual ‘Singles’ Day’ shopping event. They shipped over 278 million orders – 43% of which were placed on mobile devices. This made Singles’ Day the world’s biggest online retail sales day.

In 2013 Alibaba recorded sales of $5.75bn, shipping 150 million packages. That’s a 160% increase YoY.

Alibaba Singles Day Growth

And now the attention turns to the US where Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be dominating the news.

Black Friday

Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving is the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. In 2013, approximately 141 million U.S. consumers shopped during Black Friday, spending a total of $57.4 billion, with online sales reaching $1.2 billion.

In a continued game of one-upmanship some of the large retailers in the US have started opening early on the Thanksgiving Thursday, sometimes called Gray Thursday or Brown Thursday.

The popularity of these events has spread to other countries as well – Canada, UK, Australia and India.

In 2013, the US recorded sales of $61.4bn, a 3.8% increase on 2012.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is Monday following Thanksgiving. Retailers noticed that many consumers, who were too busy to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend or did not find what they were looking for, shopped for bargains online that Monday from home or work.

Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan,Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In 2013, the US Cyber Monday recorded sales of $2.29bn, a 20.6% increase over 2012.

Next couple of weeks

Who knows what is going to eventuate over the next couple of days but we can rest assure that the online retail trend will continue and more and more spend will shift to this channel. It has a long way to go to catch the in-store purchases…..but for how long?