Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two typically American phenomena that have established themselves in Dutch culture in recent years. In the US, the two "shopping days" fall around Thanksgiving weekend, when nearly all Americans are off and buying gifts for their family, friends, and loved ones. The busy days in the shopping streets and web shops have gradually become a tradition in this way.
But how popular are Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the Monday after the weekend) really in the Netherlands? Are they really catching on and are they rooting in our society, or will we not be talking about them in a few years? Opinions about this are divided, although the general tendency is that these commercial theme days here to stay to be.
Black Friday versus Cyber Monday
Traditionally Black Friday the busiest day in US stores. We are talking about physical stores. People are free and shop for gifts and offers, and because December is just around the corner, many consumers are also immediately shopping for Christmas. As the French highway has Black Saturday, American stores have Black Friday.
Cyber Monday is a 'created' phenomenon on the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. The Cyber Monday phenomenon encourages people to shop online, for example by offering free delivery on all orders.
This separation between offline / online is of course not that rigorous in practice. On Black Friday there is also plenty of online shopping and on Cyber Monday all shops are open as usual. You often see offers that apply throughout the weekend, sometimes even up to and including Christmas. The fact that online spending is increasing every year - even explosively this year as a result of the corona crisis - already proves that a fundamental difference between the nature of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is increasingly fading or even disappearing. They are now both busy shopping days on which great discounts are offered.
New holidays in the Netherlands
But what about the Netherlands? A few years ago, you hardly heard anything about Black Friday. That actually makes sense, because the Dutch don't celebrate Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, Black Friday is gaining ground and becoming a phenomenon, because we do celebrate Sinterklaas at the beginning of December and therefore are busy shopping for gifts and other offers at the end of November.
Black Friday has spread to the Netherlands, partly because of the influence of international groups, but also for commercial reasons. In 2020, almost all major retailers and e-tailers are participating, from MediaMarkt to Bol.com and from Rituals to HEMA.
This success has positive sides, but also a downside. Sure, you can score great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and thus save money on your Sinterklaas and Christmas shopping. But practice shows that a significant part of the discounts offered are not discounts at all, or that products are not priced more favorably than at previous times. The most important message to consumers is therefore: do not be distracted by large signs or banners with percentages of discounts, but look carefully at what you pay and whether it is really such a good price.
Amazon and the future
This year Black Friday and Cyber Monday may get an extra boost, because for the first time Amazon will be active in the Netherlands during those days. Amazon has more or less elevated these days to an art - witness the self-invented annual Amazon Prime Day, on which Amazon Prime subscribers can take advantage of additional discounts - so will eagerly take advantage of its increasing popularity.
It remains to be seen whether that will come to the fore completely. Amazon may have gained a lot of ground in the Netherlands, but the figures are not yet groundbreaking and the group is by no means market leader. However, it is expected that Amazon will grow significantly in the Netherlands in the coming years, which in turn acts like a flywheel on trends such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In addition, there is now the rumor that Amazon will bet extra early on Black Friday (October 26, reports Tech radar) to have the longest Black Friday ever. In addition, the e-commerce giant comes with offers that also apply to non-Prime members.
Conclusion: we are far from getting rid of these kinds of days, and for the avid shopper that is of course only good. If you hate busy shopping malls, full parking lots and billboards full of advertisements, you can feel free to use all web shops rightly so, usually with exactly the same discounts. These new holidays offer retailers and web shops additional opportunities to end this year more positively.