The growth of major sales events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, andAmazon Prime Day is changing the shape of peak season, according to a newsurvey from marketing firm Yieldify.

In a survey of more than 400 US and UK retail marketers, Yieldify found thatretailers are anticipating Black Friday revenue this year to be 25 per centhigher than 2018, and revenue from the wider holiday season to be 28 per centup on last year.

Taking a closer look, however, it is clear that attitudes towards thediscount-driven event are evolving. Twenty-two per cent of pureplay onlinebusinesses surveyed said they are opting out of Black Friday altogether, andthose that are participating will offer smaller discounts than theiromnichannel peers.

In addition, rather than offering heavy discounts over the Black Fridayperiod, many retailers are looking to spread discounting across the holidayquarter, with price cuts peaking in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Eighty-five per cent of retailers surveyed said they will offer discounts inthe weeks leading up to the Christmas period, and more than half (57.6 percent) will offer discounts across their entire range during the Christmasperiod – higher than on Black Friday (50.6 per cent) or Cyber Monday (44.4 percent).

US retailers are more likely to favour this approach to discounting, even onBlack Friday, with 61.9 per cent discounting across all ranges versus just39.3 per cent of their British counterparts.

“[This] attests to the trends we’ve been seeing in recent years with ourclients – what used to be a race to the bottom for discounts has evolved intoa more diverse set of approaches to the traditional peak season,” Yieldifychief executive and founder Jay Radia said.

“With competition stronger than ever, it pays to be different as much as itpays to discount.”

Shippit joint chief executive and co-founder Rob Hango-Zada recently toldInside Retail that online discounting was beginning to have a negativeeffect on the industry as a whole.

“The discounting in online retail is reaching a point of unsustainability, asit’s not triggering offline shoppers to buy online, but online shoppers topull forward their spend,” Hango-Zada said.

However, not participating in a broader sales event can be dangerous forretailers with underdeveloped offerings, as it becomes easy to be pushed outof the customers mind – if only for a few days.

“Only those with compelling everyday low pricing and free or flat shippingrates tend to benefit from not partaking in a promotional event,” Hango-Zadasaid.

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