Sitecore has today released a survey of Australia’s consumer goods and services marketers, reporting they fear the COVID-19 pandemic will result in lower profits in the upcoming Christmas shopping season.
The Sitecore survey said consumer marketers are concerned they will be forced to quickly alter their plans, and said the festive shopping season is a ‘make or break’ year, after 60 per cent of retailers reported declining profits in 2020. It also found there are rising concerns with inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic – and it is affecting marketing spend.
The survey took responses from 107 consumer marketers, each from organisations with more than one hundred employees. The dominant sectors surveyed were packaged goods, manufacturing, advertising and marketing consultancies, and financial services and insurance.
The key findings of the Sitecore survey:
● A majority of consumer marketers said they expect to book less profit in the coming Christmas shopping season compared to last year.
● The end-of-year festive shopping season accounts for between 44 per cent and 57 per cent of annual sales, depending on the size of the company, according to the Sitecore survey. Nearly 60 per cent of consumer businesses reported that changes to health conditions related to the pandemic could result in fast marketing pivots.
● 65 per cent of those surveyed worked at organisations with more than A$500m in annual sales, while half of the marketers surveyed worked in digital campaign marketing. Others surveyed worked in customer data platforms, digital strategy, and data and analytics.
● The survey found 82 per cent plan to launch a subscription-based offer during the festive season in order to cement customer loyalty.
The survey said consumer marketers are better prepared across a range of retail and marketing functions compared to last year, including product availability, balancing online and in-person shopping services, customer profiling/personalisation, and improved content management systems.
Steve Hawkes, Chief Operating Officer, Sitecore Asia-Pacific and Japan, Sitecore, commented: “We are seeing many consumer marketers making the move to sophisticated digital operations as a result of the tremendous spike in online commerce activity. We know there are rising concerns about the health status and pandemic conditions in Australia. Retailers and other consumer companies will need to be nimble and act swiftly in the face of a volatile economic landscape.”
Sitecore also surveyed 1,000 Australian consumers in July, and reported that nearly three quarters of Australians (72 per cent) are keen to embrace pre-pandemic shopping, travel and festive experiences, signalling strong pent-up demand for retail and leisure spending.
The key findings of the Sitecore consumer survey:
● Among those aged under 44, the YOLO (You Only Live Once) attitude has increased since the pandemic hit – 79 per cent of that cohort said they now value travel, and appreciate other cultures more.
● The festive season gift trend in 2021 is going to increasingly centre around the desire for “experiences”, after more than a year of on-and-off restrictions and lockdowns.
● When it comes to shopping for Christmas gifts, 59 per cent of 18-44 year olds will use the Internet to source presents for their loved ones. One in five younger people will start shopping earlier this year, to take advantage of sales, to spread out spending, avoid crowds, and to get products while they’re in stock.
● Travel, clothing, entertainment, and toys (a big end of year category) are most likely to be purchased online, according to the Sitecore survey.
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