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Should Cyber Monday Be localized to Fit the MENA Region?

  • Kawthar Ali
  • November 28, 2019

Cyber Monday is the Monday after the US Thanksgiving weekend, or more popularly, the Monday following Black Friday, usually in the beginning of December every year. This year, Cyber Monday is expected to be on the 2nd of December 2019 after Black Friday on the 29th of November. 

After the concept of Black (or White) Friday has gained momentum in the MENA region, it is often wondered whether Cyber Monday is to gain the same momentum as well or not, especially that the concept was introduced to the US to encourage shoppers to make online purchases specifically. 

In the US, Cyber Monday is considered to be a big deal, as sales on Cyber Monday are projected to increase by 19% in 2019, amounting to $9.4 billion as compared to Black Friday sales, which are expected to increase to 20%, amounting to $7.5 billion! The graph below also shows how Cyber Monday evolved in the past over the years, resulting in significant figures.

Most recently, the concept of Cyber Monday started gaining some interest in the MENA region as part of the bulk sales that start before Black Friday and go on for days after. However, how should it be modified and why should it be emphasized on?

 

  • Cyber Monday is not on Monday in the MENA region

Think of it, weekends in the Arab world are mostly on Friday and Saturday. A few countries like Lebanon have Monday as the start of their working week.  Therefore, if it were to become a day in the MENA region, it can be on Sunday instead, as it is the day in which most Arab employees start their week in. 

 

  • Cyber Week rather than Cyber Monday

Most ecommerce websites implement the idea of a “Cyber Week” rather than emphasizing on the Monday after Black Friday! Bearing that in mind, the idea does have potential, as targeting people who have limited time on their hands or older people who do not wish to shop with the crowd is what Cyber Monday’s essence is all about. For instance, statistics show that the largest percentage of shoppers on Cyber Monday were from the 65+ years old age group, followed by 25- 34 years old age group.

So maybe it would be wise after all to invest in Cyber Monday to target such consumers.

 

  • Convenience to avoid crowds

While there is a significant percentage of shoppers heading towards normal stores to get good deals on Black Friday, many of them prefer to do their shopping online, which makes the idea of Cyber Monday quite appealing to such shoppers. The figure below shows the market size of the ecommerce industry in the MENA region over the last few years. 

All in all, the idea has started to be more popular in a few Arab countries like the UAE, and the concept can be applied smartly if modified to match the Arab taste and culture. Afterall, this is how White Friday started! 

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