While most holidays involve quality time with family and friends, online shopping holidays bring shoppers and their credit cards together to scour the web for the best deals. From influencers sharing their top picks on Instagram and TikTok to news sites publishing their lists of must-buy products, these shopping holidays are hard to avoid for consumers worldwide.

Product and retail brands spend countless hours preparing for these annual events — and with good reason: These shopping holidays drive consumer spending and can bring in trillions in sales, reports Salesforce.

To help product and retail brands prepare, learn more about the biggest online shopping holidays worldwide, including when they take place and their biggest markets.

What Is an Online Shopping Holiday?

An online shopping holiday is a specific day or set of days when a brand, retailer, or both offers special promotions and discounts to encourage online shopping. These shopping holidays can be directly tied to a retailer, such as Amazon’s Prime Day, or be part of a broader sales day that can include any business that wants to participate, such as Black Friday.

Amazon Prime Day

Typically July
U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Others

Amazon Prime Day is typically a 48-hour July online sales event for Amazon Prime members. Starting in 2015 as a birthday celebration for Amazon, the event now takes place in more than 20 countries — and in 2022, Amazon reports that Prime members purchased more than 100,000 items every minute on Prime Day.

Singles’ Day

November 11

Singles’ Day is the largest online shopping holiday in the world, taking place on Nov. 11 — chosen because the date resembles four single sticks — and led by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. Starting in 1993 as an unofficial celebration of singledom by students at Nanjing University in China, according to Forbes, the event has been transformed into an online shopping holiday.

Black Friday

Friday After U.S. Thanksgiving
U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Others

Black Friday is the largest shopping holiday in the U.S., taking place the Friday after Thanksgiving. For many U.S. shoppers, this day marks the start of the holiday shopping season, and many take advantage of the significant sales and promotions from retailers and brands on this day.

While Black Friday originally started with brick-and-mortar retailers, it’s now expanded to include online events and has spread to many countries worldwide.

Cyber Monday

Monday After U.S. Thanksgiving
U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Others

Cyber Monday is an online shopping holiday in the U.S., taking place the Monday after Thanksgiving. Starting in the 2000s, online retailers originally leveraged this day to promote ecommerce sales, according to NBC News, but it’s now expanded to include omnichannel brands and retailers.

Like Black Friday, countries worldwide now participate in the shopping holiday.

Free Shipping Day

U.S., Canada, U.K., and Others

Free Shipping Day is an online shopping event in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., taking place on or around Dec. 14 and offering free shipping by Christmas. Starting in the 2000s as a way to encourage last-minute holiday shoppers to buy online, according to NBC News, this shopping holiday has lost some of its luster with the recent rise of pickup and delivery options, including same-day delivery, buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), and others.

Boxing Day

December 26
U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Others

Boxing Day is a shopping holiday in many Commonwealth countries, taking place the day after Christmas. Believed to have been started as a charitable British giving holiday, according to National Geographic, this shopping holiday is now known for its significant sales and promotions — both online and in-store.

How Can Product and Retail Brands Prepare?

Fifty-five percent of shoppers worldwide say online shopping experiences are what keeps them loyal to brands they love, according to 2023 Salsify consumer research. Building engaging shopping experiences online can help product and retail brands connect with shoppers — during the biggest online shopping holidays and beyond.

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