The world’s biggest online shopping events

Online shopping offers some of the greatest sales in the world, here’s a run down on the biggest and the best. 

If you love a good bargain, sales are the perfect chance to treat yourself to discounted products from your favourite brands.

For those who want to avoid the overcrowded shops in the holiday season, online shopping is an ideal way to get what you want at the click of a button.

Australians are avid online consumers, the latest NAB sales index shows our online retail spending increased to $16.9 billion for the year to April 2015. Domestic retailers controlled 75.5 per cent of our total online spending, but international retailers are also vying for our attention.

Some of the biggest online sales originate elsewhere across the world – they make our Boxing Day sales pale in comparison – but the mammoth Internet shopping waves they create do reach the shores of Australia.

Here are three of the biggest online shopping events in the world and some tips on how you can get involved:    

Singles Day

November 11 in China is known as Singles Day. It originally began as an informal anti-Valentine’s day for singles who wanted to celebrate (or commiserate) being single by buying gifts for each other.

Through the enormous marketing muscle of online giant Alibaba, it’s now grown to the biggest online shopping frenzy of the year. In fact this year, A-list celebs Kevin Spacey and Craig Daniel both got involved as spokespeople for the shopping event.

According to Alibaba, the 2015 event netted an incredible $20 billion as hundreds of millions of Chinese clicked their way through a 24-hour retail frenzy.

Australian retailers threw their hats into the ring as well, with Chemist Warehouse breaking the Alibaba fastest sale record, with 1 million yuan (approx. $21 million AUD) of product sold in less than three minutes this year. Singles Day has also been blamed for an unprecedented shortage of Bellamy’s Organic baby formula in Australian supermarkets due to the sales in China.

For Australian shoppers who want to get involved the biggest marketplaces are Alibaba and JD.com.

Here’s a savvy shopping tip too: Chinese shoppers tend to fill their online baskets in preparation before the big event then purchase as soon as the sale goes live.

Click Frenzy

Click Frenzy is Australia’s 24-hour online mega-sale usually held on the third Tuesday of every November.

Most of the action takes place on the Click Frenzy site, but other domestic and international retailers also join the sales on their own sites.

It began in 2012 and has had a rocky beginning due to technical faults. The site infamously crashed within moments of launching the first event and was unavailable for most of the night.

For avid shoppers and bargain hunters, the best way to get involved is by registering on Click Frenzy. The official Click Frenzy website gives you early access to sales and full details on participating retailers each year, so you can prep your shopping list and beat the stampede.

Black Friday

Black Friday is traditionally held the Friday after Thanksgiving in America, when bargain hunters across the country (and the world) grab themselves great deals before heading into the festive season.

This shopping bonanza has been big in the US for years, so why does this matter for Australians? Well thanks to the continuing rise of online shopping, many American retailers are now shipping to Australia, so we too can take advantage of the bargains on offer.

To get involved, simply search Black Friday online before the event and you’ll find a number of round up articles on the best bargains to be had.

If you’re doing a bit of Christmas shopping, keep in mind delivery dates as you’ll want to make sure it arrives in time for Christmas Day.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Black Friday and is more recent than Black Friday - it was coined in 2005 to describe the phenomenon of people who continued to shop online after returning to work from the holiday.

Where Black Friday was traditionally about bricks and mortar sales, Cyber Monday has always been about the online bargains.

A study of shopping habits over the ‘Black Friday’ season showed that Cyber Monday was the best shopping day for fashion lovers in particular with clothing, shoes and beauty categories offering especially awesome buys.

Larger items such as appliances and toys are also popular on Cyber Monday, but keep in mind shipping costs while you’re bargain hunting.  If you’re planning to travel to the US in the future, you could also book a brilliant hotel deal on Cyber Monday. 

A fast connection can give you a competitive edge while you shop. Website crashes can still occur when eCommerce sites falter under the strain of too many enthusiastic shoppers, so you’ll still need a bit of luck and a smart strategy.

Savvy online shoppers need a fast broadband connection. Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.