Hayley Fisher [pictured] is the AUNZ Country Manager at Adyen. In this op-ed, she discusses the upcoming holidays sales season and explains how marketers can help drive sales.
Over the past 18 months the pace of ecommerce has accelerated to new heights. According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), a record $44.2 billion was spent online in August alone.
As we roll into peak shopping season, which now starts in October and runs through to end January, marketers in the retail sector are looking forward to major shopping events including singles day (11:11), Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales.
Online consumer spending is expected to continue to rise as more Australians turn to the internet and social platforms for their shopping. According to research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in conjunction with Roy Morgan, Aussies are set to spend over $11 billion on Christmas presents this year, with a significant proportion to come from online sales.
For marketers, it’s critical to be primed for these events; to take advantage of unprecedented volumes and rethink the strategies required to drive repeat custom. Today, consumer expectations of retailers have undoubtedly increased, according to Adyen’s Agility Report, 72 per cent of Australian shoppers won’t return if they’ve had a bad experience either in-store or online. A cookie cutter approach to marketing through this period just won’t cut it anymore. So here’s what to do to stay ahead of the competition and turn shoppers into buyers.
Early start to holiday shopping
This year, Australians are urged to start their Christmas shopping much earlier than pre-pandemic times as global supply chains and national postal services grapple with lengthy delays and supply issues. To meet the parcel boom, communicate your offers to customers as early as possible, make sure your online platform can cope with increased capacity and speed to handle a surge in traffic, and check you’ve got all key sales channels covered.
Expect the unexpected
Be prepared to see a rise in unconventional purchase journeys, unexpected customers, and unpredictable demands by offering a range of cross-channel options like buy online and return in-store. This is particularly important as Adyen research reports more than half (53 per cent) of Australians would be more loyal to a retailer that lets them buy online and return in-store. Other cross-channel options like click and collect, and endless aisle shopping are also seeing increased demand.
Social commerce is key
The discovery of products via social media channels will be a significant driver to sales this holiday season. Shoppers searching for, favouriting, and sharing their purchases online will trigger traffic via social channels directly to ecommerce websites. The key here is to ensure the customer journey is as frictionless as possible – from discovery, to on-site browsing, to payment and delivery. Make sure your shoppers are able to purchase via social media channels, or with as few redirects as possible. Adyen’s Report finds 69 per cent of Australians won’t shop with retailers whose app or website are hard to navigate.
Make in-store and online a unified experience
Promotions, flash sales, or loyalty benefits typically offered and managed in physical stores should be adapted to cater to online shoppers. For example, offer VIP online queues or discounts for shoppers using a specific payment method, or offer reward points when customers hit a spending target. Utilising payment-linked loyalty programs and promotions in app and online will continue to give customers a compelling reason to shop with you.
Live shopping is the new normal
Reimagine the physical shopping experience, virtually. With the absence of speaking to someone physically for any questions, having a platform to virtually interact with a salesperson will become increasingly common.
Pave the way to pay
Offer payment methods your shoppers prefer. Giving shoppers the option to pay the way they want though local or global payment methods will increase conversion rate when spontaneous or hasty shoppers land on your online platform or physical stores. For a truly seamless experience, you’ll receive bonus points from your customers if they’re able to purchase in one click via secure pre-filled contact and delivery fields.
With the past few months being a particularly challenging time for most retailers, leveraging this bumper shopping season is the perfect opportunity to consider the key strategies and ecommerce intel to turn shoppers into buyers both online and in-store.
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