The end of a calendar year is always considered being a very special and festive time across the globe, and the marketing significance of the last three months, or Q4, makes it even more crucial.
What’s Q4? It’s the last quarter of the year, including October, November, and December. Why is q4 important? It’s not only the end of the year for many businesses, but for marketers, this quarter is crucial because of the three originally important shopping days that have been attracting shoppers and consumers across the globe for sales for years.
And with the boom of e-commerce in Pakistan, our industry has also adopted the Q4 strategy, but with its own unique twist.
Q4 in Pakistan
While Pakistan’s entry into the e-commerce market was slow, once Daraz entered the game, the market has grown exponentially to where now, Q4 almost seems like a celebration with brands and e-commerce platforms offering discounts left, right, and center.
This trend gave way to controversies of its own, but there are a few notable campaigns and Q4 events that have been remarkable in bringing a whole new level of competition, particularly in the e-commerce market. Let’s discuss these below…
Black vs. White vs. Blessed Friday
Black Friday is one of the world’s biggest shopping event and is a cause of celebration for many a brand. An informal name given to the Friday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday officially marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and this tradition has been followed by the US since 1952. The world gradually picked up on the concept and now, it’s one of the quarter’s biggest, most looked forward events.
While the concept went through a bit of controversy in Pakistan what with Friday being a holy day in Islam and unacceptable to be called “Black”, brands started picking up on Blessed, White, Big, or Best Friday as a substitute to the original. While Daraz was the first platform to bear the brunt of the criticism on the Black Friday concept, they too adapted, and now, Black (read: Blessed) Friday is one of Pakistan’s biggest shopping events as well.
2018 stats show that in Pakistan, as in the world, queries and interest for Black Friday grow as soon as the event draws near and marketing grows. In research conducted by Black Friday Global, indicating that 74% of Pakistanis are aware of Black Friday, thus showing that it is a growing, even welcome, concept in our country, with forecasts suggesting that an average Pakistani would spend Rs. 4600 during this sale.
A pyramid of the most purchased products in the country was created showing…
One of the key statistics to note here is the 3 billion rupee sale Daraz made on “Big” Friday in 2017, and it only suggests how important the event has grown to be digitally, especially in 2020 with COVID-19 and the growing emphasis on online shopping. Our eCommerce market has already been growing year by year, and according to State Bank’s eCommerce data, our revenue in this market has sharply increased from Rs. 2.3 billion to Rs. 9.4 billion in the fourth financial quarter of 2020, bringing the year’s eCommerce revenue to Rs34.8bn, also increasing debit and credit card payments by around 88pc and 18pc in volume and trade.
10.10, 11.11, and 12.12
Daraz.pk being one of the leading eCommerce platforms in Pakistan brought its own unique version of Q4 sales with 10.10, 11.11, and 12.12.
While these aren’t new concepts in the world of super shopping days, their introduction in the market from Daraz’s perspective has raised anticipation across the board, and now, people not only look forward to these days, but they’re also celebrated and adopted by other brands.
This isn’t only beneficial for brands. These sales offer a good reason for users to enter and explore the e-commerce market in Pakistan and engage with the brands that are offering these discounts. This not only increases online payments but also is a way of developing our growing digital landscape. According to Statista, revenue in the e-commerce market is projected to reach US$3,904m in 2020, with the highest market sector being Fashion, as shown above. The user penetration was forecasted to be 21.6% in 2020, with an expected increase to 26.9% by 2025.
While of course, these numbers are year-on-year stats and don’t depend entirely on Q4, the impact of this quarter is evident on these statistics and can be a major factor in increasing them further.
In addition to Daraz’s Q4 campaigns, there are also other notable campaigns from different brands that make the marketing world more or less festive during the end of the year. This year, Daraz’s 11.11 campaign came with a huge twist, providing a discount of up to 50 crores on 15 million products.
Furthermore, a lot of different brands came up with their own unique campaigns for 11.11. Namely, Khaadi with its ‘treat yourself’ sale providing up to 50% off, and Breakout, Heels, RIOS, etc all coming up with sale campaigns of their own.
Another campaign almost every brand invests in nowadays is influencer marketing. On that note, the Q4 is important not just for brands but also influencers as it results in them getting more reach, engagement, collaborations, and can lead to better traffic for both the brands as well as influencers.
Aren’t the other quarters important?
Now that we’ve talked endlessly about Q4 and the importance of its sales and discounts in Pakistan, the question that begs to consider is that aren’t other quarters important?
Of course they are. While the 4th quarter of the year brings Black Friday and others, Q1 brings you New Year sales, Easter, and Valentine’s Day, and Q2 and 3 bring Ramadan and Eid sales. So it isn’t that the other quarters aren’t important. But because Q4 brings back-to-back shopping and discount days, making it one of the biggest marketing opportunity in the year, and giving brands a chance to build on awareness, engagement, and most importantly, sales.