Capitalising On Christmas: Westfield Study Reveals The Importance Of Engaging Customers Early In The Season

Capitalising On Christmas: Westfield Study Reveals The Importance Of Engaging Customers Early In The Season
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
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As Aussies try and bounce back from the struggles of COVID-19, Christmas is undoubtedly a bright spot on the horizon.

Data from Westfield shows that despite this year’s difficulties, customers are still keen to make Christmas plans, regardless of what’s happening around them.1

Brands, therefore, have an incredible opportunity to leverage the Christmas momentum, build sales and create lasting relationships with customers. More than ever, trust in brands is paramount, as customers grapple with uncertainty.

After 60 years as the home of Australia’s Christmas shopping, Westfield has developed trusted relationships with customers across the nation – 8 out of 10 choose to visit Westfield first at Christmas, as opposed to 3 in 10 who choose to shop online, showing the incredible power of real-world shopping.2

As COVID restrictions ease, the demand for shared experiences and for shopping in physical destinations is predicted to return too. Those real-world experiences can’t be replicated online, particularly when combined with the festive excitement of Christmas shopping. In the midst of the pandemic last year, as the world tried to navigate its first Christmas impacted by COVID, Westfield invested in COVID-safe innovations, delivering much needed seasonal joy.

Westfield’s physically distanced Santa photography saw both customer engagement and sales on par with 20193, while the interactive web Augmented Reality retail activation, Reindeer Rescue resulted in 45,000 engagements4.

And, whilst it’s important to engage audiences throughout the year, delivering a strong Christmas for consumers, retailers and brands is essential. Despite 2020’s uncertainty, Christmas last year was the biggest on record8 and, as many brands know, November and December can represent up to 40 per cent of annual sales.

As Aussies have battled through the darkness of the last year and a half, the demands for gifts to treat both themselves and loved ones is unprecedented.

Last year, Westfield’s SmartScreens detected a 35 per cent average customer uplift during the festive season, compared to the average month.6 Westfield shoppers crucially also spend more during the festive season – 45 per cent more was spent in November and December last year, clear evidence of the importance of the season to brands.11

While some may assume that sales are primarily generated in the two weeks before Christmas, insight showed that Christmas shopping starts earlier each year. In fact, in 2020 by early November 49 per cent of Westfield shoppers have begun their shopping9. This gives brands the opportunity to build relationships and sales throughout the whole of the festive season, and with the prediction that the trend for earlier shopping will continue, brands should prepare for an early start to the season – particularly if restrictions ease in early November.

And, of course, by successfully winning over customers during Christmas, brand loyalty and trust is built for the rest of the year too.

So how can brands capitalise on Westfield’s unmatched engagement?

Throughout the year, Westfield secures 5 times more customers and 5 times more sales per centre, compared to any other retail environment.10

Westfield’s BrandSpace Network allows brands to access the incredibly valuable and diverse Westfield audience during retail’s biggest annual moment. The Westfield Plus membership platform launched in mid-2020 and currently has more than 1.9 million engaged members, where retailers and brands can curate exclusive offers for members.5

In addition, Westfield has a survey panel with approximately 11,000 Westfield customers, who share their intended and actual behaviours throughout the Christmas period, as well as other seasons throughout the year. For instance, Westfield knew that creating a COVID- safe environment was critical in giving customers confidence to visit over Christmas in 2020 and after surveying our Westfield iQ panel, 95% of customers said they felt safe on their visits.

Using The BrandSpace Network, brands have a practical and efficient resource to reach customers: a full product portfolio spanning not just the best-in-class media and retail network, but also Westfield activations, partnerships and exclusive sponsorship opportunities.

Inventory sells quickly during November and December, so if you want to be part of the biggest moment on the retail calendar attracting the largest audiences and most retail spend you need to act now. Contact your BrandSpace representative today or enquire here.

SOURCES:

1 Scentre Group Westfield IQ – Christmas Customer Sentiment Study June 2021

2 Scentre Group Westfield IQ – Christmas Behaviours Study 2020 sample 2778

3 Scene to believe 2020 vs 2019 Source TBC

4 Scentre Group first party data – Reindeer Rescue 2020

5 Scentre Group Westfield Membership Acquisition 2020 Monthly Avg Jan-Oct vs Nov-Dec

6 BrandSpace SmartScreen Network Audience Detection 2019 av Jan-Oct v Nov-Dec

7 Scentre Group Monthly Customer Trends

8 2020 The Biggest Christmas on Record – The National Retail Association 5 February 2021

9 Scentre Group Westfield IQ – Christmas Behaviours Study 2020 sample 2778

10 Big Guns/Little Guns 2021 – Shopping Centre News

11 Scentre Group Monthly Customer Trends | ​Stable Comparison of 2019 TTA & MTA (Nov- Dec)​

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