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Black Friday is the West’s biggest shopping day of the year. Since 1932, the day following Thanksgiving marks the first ‘official’ shopping day of the Christmas period. Throughout recent years, however, this momentous event has grown on an international scale.

People in their thousands wreak havoc in their local stores for promotional sales and make headline news, whilst online, millions upon millions of shoppers seek out the latest deals. To save even more money and avoid the crowds, consumers are opting for online purchasing and ecommerce businesses need to be ready for this increasing demand.

In 2005, the international marketing term Cyber Monday was coined to both persuade shoppers to go online and to illustrate the changing ways people shop. In 2014, Cyber Monday sales reached $2.68billion – a new record since the day was recognised.

Ecommerce sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both significant for different products; consumers tend to purchase deals in technology on the Friday and fashion on the Monday. Online retailers like Amazon and eBay offer major discounts on the most coveted products. Elsewhere on the web, products like electrical items and toys sell out rapidly. It has been said that offers on Cyber Monday are generally made by the smaller retailers, who struggle to compete with the main online retailers and major brands who may dominate the web on Black Friday.

This period in late November provides major opportunity for businesses to export and increase sales in international ecommerce. A large group of countries participate and observe these dates for online trade including the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Japan, and UAE.

Christmas consumerism and people’s need for spreading the cost became the initial pull on Black Friday. Yet, with extreme discounts and incredible value on the most sought after products, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken on a whole new meaning.

In terms of online strategy, businesses should continue to focus on their brand, website and knowledge of the current markets to build a successful, functioning international ecommerce during this busy phase. Knowing your key markets for exporting your product is paramount, as you decipher what promotional price you can offer consumers, if any.

Fraud and hacking are a major issue during this promotional period for both merchants and consumers. Therefore, it is imperative to have a strong fraud prevention system in place and clear counter-fraud strategy or policy. Social Media like Twitter and Facebook are also worth monitoring throughout Cyber Monday in particular, as people tend to share information on unusual or suspicious online activity.

Tracking sales and analysing data year on year post Black Friday/Cyber Monday should gradually inform your business of which markets are the most lucrative. This year on Friday 25th and Monday 28th November, the internet will transform – make sure you do not miss out on these opportunities to export.

For more information on winning international e-commerce strategy, you can now download our latest guide: Is Export Led E-commerce Growth Right for My Business?

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