In this opinion piece, iProspect’s Divya Voleti and Iain Addy (pictured below) identify three big trends for online retailers to look out for this festive season.
Ahh Christmas…the most wonderful profitable time of the year. Like many other markets, Christmas-time in Australia is a big deal. Over the years, there has been a notable shift in the amount Australians have spent on gifting. Last year recorded a 12.5 per cent increase; that’s almost $12 billion in dollar value! If the yearly trend continues, it is expected that each Australian will spend over $1,000 each on gifts this year – a huge opportunity for marketers.
But whilst spending is still expected to increase year on year, the retail market is very different to 2017. Here are three big trends for online retailers to look out for this season:
- Sales events are shaping the retail year more than ever. While Boxing Day remained the largest sale day in 2017, Click Frenzy and Black Friday are far outgrowing it. Retail traffic continues to decline as online visits increase. Additionally, a range of shoppers is shaping the way we market; from the super mums who plan well ahead to the last-minute shopper who relies on quick deliveries online.
- Identify and Inspire: It is commonly known that a lot of consumers are influenced by what they see online. However, the time spent on each platform and when they seek inspiration varies significantly. For example; Bargain Hunters create shopping lists and then check for bargains, Promoted Pins on Pinterest are a great place to influence this list. Or, over-extenders generally purchase offline, showing them available products via local inventory ads on Facebook and Google may inspire conversions.
- Stay true to sales windows: While everyone loves a bargain, each consumer group reacts differently to each one. By treating users as individuals, we can deliver a more personalised experience and get them to act when needed.
- It is reported that less than 10 per cent of total sales happen online and with frictionless mobile payment methods (e.g. Afterpay), reducing the distinction between purchases there is a huge opportunity for business with a physical presence to capitalise. There are two main aspects to this:
- Driving people in-store: Many platforms allow us to target a geographic distance easily. However, this can be time consuming to setup. Both Google and Facebook allow us to promote products whilst simultaneously driving to a location.
- Understanding the impact: Whilst driving footfall can be easy, measuring impact is complex. Last Year; Google ran a study to show how ads can drive incremental store visits. To quickly get a deeper understanding of how an ad impacts your shop visits (i) overlay a timelag report – find out how long it took a user to visit a store after they clicked on an ad. (ii) use the distance report to understand where a user was located and how far away they were when clicked an ad and then visited a store to understand where to focus.
- Everyone’s favourite ecommerce destination, Amazon, is slowly disrupting the Australian retail industry since its launch last year. Amazon isn’t just disrupting retail. In recent years, search was the first step towards purchase but in retail – Amazon is becoming the leader. While not yet launched, we all need to be prepared for the launch of Amazon Media Services:
- Identify what (if any) SKUs will be available through Amazon.com.au.
- What creative learnings can we leverage.
- What keywords work well on search? What targeting works well on social?
The Christmas period is busy for all of us. We go through the same process as every other consumer, so we understand that it is complex and stressful. Let the gift of data do all your work for this Christmas and segment your campaigns with greater accuracy and the right amount of personalisation. With the right approach to online retailing, you’ll have one less thing to worry about this festive season.