Pattern’s Predictions for Q4 Sales Peak 2021

Akta Bavalia

October 11, 2021

The fourth quarter is the most lucrative time of the year for most retailers and brands – both online and offline – with a multitude of shopping festivals, deals and promotions leading up to the end of the year. We've asked our ecommerce and marketplace experts around the world for their predictions for Q4 peak sales.

Last year peak sales patterns and trends were quite disrupted in various markets due to most stores being closed, and whilst sales over peak this year may not beat 2020 figures in all markets, we still expect to see a huge uplift in numbers, both in-store and online, with big shopping festivals such as Black Friday (White Friday in the Middle East) and Cyber Monday, as well as Singles’ Day in China being a huge driver.

For brands preparing their trading strategy, Pattern’s General Manager, Germany Torsten Schafer, suggested that brands steer away from using last year’s trading figures as a benchmark for predicting demand this holiday season.

What will the biggest sales peak in 2021?

We asked Pattern’s senior leadership team what their predictions for Q4 sales peak 2021 were, and specifically for the biggest day in terms of revenue. For the Middle East, USA and Australia, Black Friday and Cyber Weekend is expected to see the largest peak in sales, especially online, whilst in China and Europe, Singles’ Day, and December respectively, will see the largest peak.

Pattern’s General Manager for Australia Merline McGregor commented: “We’ve seen an increase in online shoppers in the past 12 months thanks to COVID-19 and store closures - 59% of sessions being new. In addition to this, August 2021 saw our biggest tracked revenue month in our Benchmark Report’s history, with revenue exceeding November 2020 (the previous record holder) by 21%. This was primarily due to New South Wales and Victoria being in lockdown. If this trend continues, we’ll likely continue to see some record-breaking months ahead.”

She added: “Despite most physical retail likely to be back open by this point, I’d assume there will continue to be some hesitation around crowded shopping centres and so consumers will continue to shop online.”

Pattern's USA Director of Marketplaces George Hatch agreed that COVID variants will limit brick-and-mortar sales and some retailers will shift to being closed over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, as Walmart is planning to be. However, Black Friday will still likely be the highest revenue day for ecommerce.

George Hatch also predicted that “this holiday season we expect to see deals spread out rather than crammed into a single day. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will surely see the lion's share of discounts and promotions, but shoppers can expect to see deals throughout the Thanksgiving weekend and well into December, and likewise retailers should anticipate a big lift over Turkey 5 – the 5 days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Weekend. We saw this trend in 2020 as the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend saw the highest YoY growth at 113%.”

Meanwhile, General Manager MENA David Quaife predicted the White/Black Friday weekend will also see the most sales in the UAE and Saudi Arabia: “White Friday will be, and has always been, the biggest online selling period. Typically, online retailers should expect to see 3.5x increase in sales in November vs October - this may vary between pureplay and omnichannel retailers.” In the past year or two, the Middle Eastern ecommerce market has experienced sharp growth which is why he expects to see a very strong performance for the big online players this year.

Additionally, the delayed Expo 2020 Dubai will commence in October 2021 and run through to end of March 2022. The footfall to this event will provide a major boost to retail sectors with many visitors expected from outside countries such as Europe and the USA. David stated it would be interesting to see if any of these customers place online orders with Amazon.ae during their stay.

In Latin America, though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still large festivals, Buen Fin which takes place earlier in November, usually kick starts the shopping season in Mexico. George Hatch advised: “Brands need to be ready by the time Buen Fin rolls around to not miss out on capturing the entirety of Mexico's shopping season. Last year, the event raked in US$11.9 billion in total revenue for both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce.”

In Europe, Torsten predicted: “This year, the biggest days for online sales could be as late as Sunday 19th and Monday 20th December, because of when Christmas falls.” Furthermore, he stated “last year was an exceptionally strong Q4 online because of store closures, and so retailers may not achieve year-on-year sales increases online. However, they should see growth on their 2019 holiday sales – maybe as much as 25% to 50% growth on their sales two years ago if they are running an established online shop and if they have acquired new customers in 2020 who have become more confident buying online.”

In China, Singles’ Day is the biggest 24-hour online shopping festival in the world and is expected to continue being so. Pattern’s General Manager Asia, Arthur Cheung predicted: “Tmall will release the best offers seen throughout the year. However, the sales volume will be so large that it will heavily impact the speed of the fulfilment. It could take a month for an order to arrive to the customer, which is not very common in China where delivery times are usually within 2-3 days.”

And it’s not just in China where we expect to see issues with delays in fulfilment processes. Pattern’s leadership team in Europe, the USA and China expect that retailers and brands will focus their efforts on trying to spread out sales peaks and promotions so their warehouses and delivery infrastructure can cope.

The impact on delivery delays, fulfilment processes and logistics

In Europe, typically Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have been spread out over the week leading up to the shopping event and the whole week of Cyber Monday - a trend that Torsten predicted will continue. He also added: “This is a combination of retailers trying to attract spend before their competitors and retailers spreading out the peak so that their fulfilment operations can cope with the spike in demand. Last year, Amazon ran Prime Day in mid-October, but it has already taken place this year, so discounting and promotions are likely to be more focused on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, with retailers trying to maintain full price sales prior to that.”

Whilst in Europe and the Middle East, delivery delays are not expected to be such an issue, there could be real issues in other regions. In the USA, Amazon has been working to improve its logistics capabilities by relying less on UPS and USPS, but George still anticipates that many products will not arrive in time for Christmas if they are bought after early to mid-December.

Similarly in Australia, it has already been advised that consumers can expect lengthy delivery delays leading up to Christmas. Therefore, Merline predicted that the majority of consumers will aim to get most of their Christmas shopping completed by Cyber Weekend, hence why she believes Black Friday will be the strongest day on the 2021 trading calendar.

How retailers can cope with excess stock issues

Lastly, in Australia and the UAE, it is expected that retailers will have lots of stock to discount that they haven’t been able to sell while stores were closed. They will likely try and discount online to get rid of product over the Black/White Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

David expects to see a very big push from these businesses to clear a lot of that aged inventory in the month of November with deep discounts, which may then result in a big swing to online channels. Merline also mentioned that some retailers who are eager to clear stock will offer significant promotions. However, others in Australia have consistently faced stock shortages and logistics delays during 2021 and will not want to discount stock so close to the Christmas period.

If you are interested in expanding onto international marketplaces in 2022, download our five-step guide which can help determine whether your brand is ready to go international. Contact hello@pattern.com to learn how we can help to accelerate your growth on marketplaces around the world.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 2022)
Blog

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/02/amazon-introduces-new-service-to-help-solve-supply-chain-challenges/) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/30/amazon-web-services-launches-region-in-uae/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360](https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/09/01/alibabas-lazada-to-take-on-amazon-zalando-in-europe-push/) Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance](https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinduoduo-launch-international-e-commerce-034129263.html) Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/alibaba-launches-super-september-b2b-sales-event/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times](https://www.ft.com/content/483451db-9221-4ca4-83a6-b4ddc6bfcfbb) [Read more on the Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/31/klarna-losses-more-than-triple-as-consumer-spending-slows) One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/snap-to-lay-off-20-of-its-workforce-and-wind-down-a-number-of-projects/)

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (30th August 2022)
Blog

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC](https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/24/amazon-is-shutting-down-amazon-care-telehealth-service.html) Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/24/peloton-strikes-deal-to-sell-fitness-equipment-on-amazon/) --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve](https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/08/25/around-60-malaysians-are-buying-from-local-sellers-on-shopee/) Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard](https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-s-social-commerce-platform-shopsy-hits-100-million-users-1220828006851.html) Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts](https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2022/meta-joins-amazon-walmart-indian-ecommerce-market/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/ecommerce-in-spain-was-worth-e57-7-billion-in-2021/)

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)
Blog

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/11/amazon-plans-to-add-mental-health-support-to-primary-care-service/) GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/09/gmb-calls-for-15-an-hour-minimum-pay-at-amazon-warehouses-in-uk) Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/17/amazon-third-party-sellers-have-received-their-first-ever-holiday-fee-hike/) Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/21/amazon-pauses-uk-grocery-shop-roll-out-following-disappointing/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire](https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/08/18/shopee-surpasses-alibaba-in-international-sales-amazon-searches-for-entertainment-exec/) H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/16/hm-returns-to-alibabas-tmall-platform-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy/) Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry](https://www.theindustry.fashion/klarna-launches-new-feature-allowing-uk-consumers-to-view-full-online-order-history/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/09/online-marketplaces-responsible-for-280-billion-business-turnover-in-uk/)