On November 11th, thousands of Chinese people celebrated Single’s Day, a holiday where people who aren’t in a committed romantic or family relationship buy themselves gifts. It’s a huge event for Chinese retailers, and I’ve heard more than a few retailers lament the fact we don’t have the same holiday here.
Luckily, it turns out, according to Digiday, that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have some very important qualities in common with Single’s Day. While these dates are traditionally celebrated as the beginning of the holiday shopping season, increasing numbers of buyers are taking advantage of the special deals to buy things they want for themselves – often postponing gift buying until later in December.
The phenomenon is known as “self-gifting”. The National Retail Federation reports that in 2015, 60% of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers were purchasing items for themselves; this number is expected to rise to 64% this year.
Use Your Website Data to Connect with Self-Gifters Effectively
The self-gifting trend is important, because it means the average customer will spend more during the holiday season. Capitalizing on this trend does mean understanding that people will shop for themselves differently than they do for other people: while the holidays have a built in deadline for gift giving, self-gifting purchases are often larger items that the buyers are willing to wait for in order to save money. Website data can be critical here: determining which items a customer has viewed repeatedly, perhaps even put into their cart a few times, makes it possible to craft the personalized recommendations that urge these buyers to take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals that will be of most interest to them.
Also important: there’s no hard and fast boundary on when self-gifting season begins and ends. We’re seeing peak activity during established shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, there’s definitely room for the concept to expand. Encouraging self-gifting earlier in the season – perhaps on Single’s Day – or throughout the year can have a positive impact on the relationship between customer and brand, as well as overall sales revenue.