Tamebay Comment: Please don’t cook the Christmas goose too early

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In the past few weeks we’ve been getting a lot of press releases and publicity contacts talking up Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But we don’t buy it.

Both are clearly relevant in the UK but we contest that neither are all that useful for ecommerce sellers. What we really need is an effort to stir up ecommerce closer to Christmas and extend that important seasonal shopping period and extend it closer to the 25th December rather than over-eggnog it in November.

Let’s boil down the bones of these ideas. Black Friday is a US import. It’s when US retailers typically broke even and moved in to the black, because after Thanksgiving (a venerable US holiday but not something we do here in Blighty), they did a discount event on the Friday after (US Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday in November) to get the Christmas season swinging.

We’ve seen that stateside, and to a lesser extent over here on this somewhat more reserved island, that this day has become something near hysterical for some consumers. But we don’t need it. And Cyber Monday is much the same. That’s just the Monday after Black Friday where, again, mighty marketing efforts kick in.

The media whip up a buying orgy on such days to report the frenzied activities of demented consumers as they lamp their fellow humans to something, anything, for a low, low price. And the retail marketing machines pitch in too. Yodel head honcho Dick Stead has been highly critical of the marketing putsch, not least because he just doesn’t think it’s honest to generate demand that couriers can’t simply deliver on

Let’s be clear. The bargains aren’t that easy to find on such days and whipping up a storm of shopping fully four weeks before Christmas is bizarre because it’s not needed. People know what they need to do. They’re shopping anyway here in the UK.

What we do need is an event to keep sellers selling right up until the last moment. Marketplace sellers often report that sales start to drop off around the 15th. With Christmas Day in 2015 on a Friday, it seems better that we have those online orders flooding in until the 21st with couriers and carriers fulfilling them as they promise right up until the big day deadline.

The last big hurrah for marketplace sellers should be Golden Sunday. The 20th. And all those parcels should make it by Christamas Eve. Every one. And then we can pass round the mince pies. Make it so.

5 Responses

  1. To me, its seems absolutely mad to offer products at reduced prices on the last payday before Christmas.

    With better supply chains and stock ordering processes, there is less overstock by most companies, hence companies like M&S closing their Outlet stores, but it was these overstocks that fueled the boxing day & New year sales.

    With the advent of Black Friday, it seems that its not excess stock that’s being sold, but pre-meditated offers and if last year is to go by, not many of them!!

    I wonder if the web-sites will have enough band width this year or will i fall into the trap of giving up trying to access the web site and actually go to the store to find out what i was after was not included in the Black Friday sale.

    2 hours of my life i wont get back!!!


  2. hows about total sanity and just cancel Christmas in its entirety ,
    the madness starts in october these days and its not the yanks fault

  3. Am I the only e-retailer looking forward to seeing Black Friday sales? I’m yet to meet any Amazon Ebay sellers who actually reduce prices for Black Friday.

    Even the daily deals last year didn’t seem massively reduced?

    Anyone submitted any eBay daily deals? Amz Deals via Vendor with a substantial discount applied for BFriday?

    Genuinely interested.
    Carl –

  4. We have deals approved on all 5 Amazon European sites. Different products for different reasons. On the whole not a fan of such events but they have their uses


  5. love how Yodel of all people are wagging the finger at sellers, speaking of how they cant meet demand, because its unexpected, over a single day blah blah blah.

    i remember a few years ago Yodel were delivering Christmas presents in February, because Snow, and Christmas. obviously neither was expected in late December.

    DPD dont appear to have struggled much that christmas or last black friday.


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