ABC Business

Black Friday, Cyber Monday promise plenty of Christmas bargains for Australian shoppers

ABC Business logoABC Business 22/11/2020 19:48:54 By Alicia Nally
a man using a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Online shopping has surged during the coronavirus pandemic. (Unsplash: rupixen.com) © Provided by ABC BusinessOnline shopping has surged during the coronavirus pandemic. (Unsplash: rupixen.com)

If you haven't even started thinking about your Christmas shopping list yet, the last weekend in November could be your saviour.

Originally a post-Thanksgiving tradition in the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become major online retail events in Australia in recent years.

They've become so popular many retailers have extended the discounts and deals to up to a week around the sales events.

According to Australia Post, international shopping events have been growing in popularity in Australia in recent years as shoppers become more comfortable shopping online.

In 2018, the Black Friday sales recorded a growth of more than 30 per cent year-on-year and this increased to more than 31 per cent in 2019.

"Online shopping in Australia has experienced unprecedented growth in 2020, and this is a trend set to continue through to the end of the year," general manager of Australia Post's parcel and express services Ben Franzi said.

"The upcoming cyber weekend is expected to be the busiest online shopping period of the year so far, with even the most conservative forecasts surpassing any previous peaks."

Bricks and mortar retailers also tend to cash in on the sales, with major department stores and big retailers dropping prices alongside their online rivals.

What is Black Friday? What is Cyber Monday?

Black Friday started off as the US equivalent of our Boxing Day sales.

The day after Thanksgiving, Americans would stampede stores to get their hands on bargains.

With the spread of the event to international markets, it's migrated online, but some brands in Australia do host Black Friday sales in their physical stores as well.

While Black Friday has existed for decades, Cyber Monday is a relatively new concept that started to get traction about 15 years ago.

According to CNN, Cyber Monday marks the official start of the holiday shopping season.

When will Black Friday and Cyber Monday happen this year?

This year, they will be held on November 27 and November 30, and depending on the retailer, all the days in between as well.

Most big names will take part, so keep an eye on stores' social media accounts and websites to keep across deals.

Is there a downside to the online sales?

Only around the risks associated with in-store shopping in a pandemic, but as retailers have seen throughout the year, online shopping is a more physically distant alternative.

According to Australian Retailers Association boss Paul Zahra, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become an "incredibly important part of the Australian retail calendar".

"It's a great opportunity for retailers to sell a large volume of stock in a short amount of time and for consumers to get a great deal," he said.

"As we gear up for Christmas, we encourage Aussies to shop whichever way they can, as long as they shop and shop sensibly.

"Every dollar counts and can help a local retailer get back on its feet, support thousands of retail jobs in stores, in the warehouse, making deliveries, or anywhere through the retail supply chain.

"We've had a great opportunity to discover the terrific local stores in our own high street or shopping centre, and many local retailers have created or improved their online presence during this tough year.

"We urge shoppers to maintain safety precautions - everyone needs to work together on precautions including social distancing, hygiene, and in-store limits - so we can create a fun and safe Christmas shopping season for everyone."

Will purchases be delivered in time for Christmas?

By all accounts, the answer seems to be yes.

Mr Franzi said Australia Post staff have been "delivering like it is Christmas for many months now as the pandemic has brought with it unprecedented demand for parcels".

"Early on we moved quickly to bring additional facilities online, put more vehicles on the road and get 18 dedicated planes in the air, to help compensate for significant reductions in domestic passenger fights," he said.

"We've also recently undertaken the biggest hiring blitz in our history, bringing on more than 5,000 staff ahead of Christmas across processing, delivery, our customer contact centres and the Post Office Network.

"We're working hard to deliver letters and parcels as safely and quickly as possible, but delivery for Christmas will take longer this year as we manage the impacts of COVID-19 and more parcels than ever before.

"This year, customers are encouraged to get parcels in the post by December 12 for Parcel Post and December 19 for Express Post, for delivery in time for Christmas.

"We'll still deliver items sent after these dates as quickly as possible, but it will be difficult to get them to their destinations by Christmas."

A spokeswoman for courier company Pack & Send said the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend contributed to an 18 per cent jump in e-commerce parcel shipments last November.

She said booking international shipments from Canada, USA, UK and major European countries, before December 11 would ensure packages arrive before Christmas.

For express courier shipments, bookings can be made up until December 16.

22. marraskuuta 2020 21:48:54 Categories: ABC Business

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