Even though we’re strictly business here at PYMNTS, we’re always looking for the lighthearted. On that count, this holiday season strikes us as both funny and poignant. It’s the scary state of shopping this year that’s made us pensive – and it’s the perfect time to have a little fun with it.
Back in 2010 after the 2008 market crash, American Express wedged in a new commercial holiday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, dubbed Small Business Saturday. This year, it falls on Nov. 28. Now as then, Amex is mobilizing cardholders behind beleaguered SMBs.
Sadly, unbelievably, it’s that time again, as yet another global catastrophe (COVID-19) finds us looking for hope in celebrations that encourage folks to assuage anxiety with a new laptop, or maybe those Louboutins. This year’s theme is “Shop Small and Share Joy” – and Amex is betting the store, as it were, on social media, saying in a statement that “according to the American Express Shop Small Impact Study … the majority (78 percent) of small business owners say that positive feedback on social media is a significant driver of business.”
Momentum has been building behind this year’s pretend shopping holidays: Amazon Prime Day dates were set in late September for Oct. 13 and 14. For its part, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day event on Nov. 11 did $74.1 billion, up from $38.4 billion last year.
In honor of concocted commercial holidays and all the actual good they do, PYMNTS presents some phony 2021 spending and finance celebrations on this most special of spending holidays.
The Possibilities Are Endlessly Silly
As a companion to National Salesperson Day on Dec. 13, purportedly recognized since 2000, we put forth “Chronic Complainer Day” for Dec. 14, where beset sales associates get to drop water balloons on the rude customers who talk big, spend small and return everything.
The problem with that plan is that Dec. 14 already has a made-up commercial holiday: National Free Shipping Day, in effect since 2008. According to the website: “Like most of history’s best ideas, Free Shipping Day was conceived on a toilet.” We’ll gladly leave that one alone and suggest something else for Dec. 15, now to be known as “Thruway Thursday,” when folks have tailgate parties on roadsides and wave to passing trucks laden with gifts, shipped free.
Because this is PYMNTS, we can’t forget the mighty industry of which we are a part. We therefore present for the Academy’s consideration “FinTech Friday,” where every person in America with a smartphone is urged to download a P2P app and use a digital identity product—something, anything to support the starving startups with only millions in VC capital and dreams to live on.
Bob Cratchit would approve — or be horribly insulted. Hard to say.
Preposterous Observances for 2021
Looking ahead, the first pretend holiday of the new year is Blue Monday, typically the third week in January, when credit card statements arrive reflecting all of those holiday purchases, often accompanied by mumbled phrases like, “what was I thinking?”
As a remedy, we proffer “Installments Tuesday,” when people instead celebrate the ascendance of buy now, pay later at retail, and the happy fact that they’ve split their payments into threes and fours, taking the sting out of that designer cat raincoat.
And incidentally, about the cat gear: What were you thinking?
Finally, for this installment of fake holidays for 2021, Feb. 18 brings National Drink Wine Day, which we think pairs humorously with “National Shopping Online While Drunk Day” – which in turn creates an opening for “National Disputes & Chargebacks Sunday.”
We could do this all day long, but people have wine to drink, purchases to dispute, sales associates to thank and FinTechs to rally behind. We’re exhausted already. Holiday, anyone?