The US has last month celebrated Thanksgiving and immediately after gone on a whirlwind trip on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
Below you’ll find a brief summary of these three huge shopping days, as well as what Australian businesses can expect this holiday season, in-store but particularly online.
– The day after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November) was the unofficial kick-off of holiday shopping in the US
– Savvy buyers hit the stores to pick up some unreal bargains, and it’s not unusual to hear of injuries and arguments between shoppers on this day
– In 2013, Americans spent $57.4 billion on Black Friday; $1.9 billion of that was online!
The past few years have seen retailers open earlier and earlier, with some actually opening at midnight
– Those who didn't have the time (or maybe the patience!) to hit the physical stores on Friday waited two days for Cyber Monday
– Granted, they had to wait a whole weekend longer than their Black Friday counterparts for the super deals to drop, but don't you worry – they were ready!
– Cyber Monday started to gain momentum in 2004 when retailers noticed a spike in online sales the Monday after Black Friday
– This spike was due to those who didn't have the time to (physically) visit stores during the previous three days, and instead browsed online from work or home the following Monday (and throughout the rest of the week)
– The day was coined Cyber Monday to encourage shoppers to buy online
Small Business Saturday:
– SBS was invented in 2010 by American Express and encourages shoppers to reject big businesses in favour of small and local ones on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
– AMEX said in 2013 US consumers spent $5.7 billion on Small Business Saturday, which was 3.6% more than in 2012.
– Awareness is up, too! AMEX reported 71% of people know about it in 2013, compared to 67% the previous year
So they’re the three major US shopping days. Here in Australia, we’ve got a little longer to wait for our biggest shopping day of the year, Boxing Day.
That, however, is not to say that we’re not spending (and researching, and comparing, and Googling) from as early as October.
Australian shopping statistics: what we can expect (and will be a part of!) this Christmas
We’ve gathered a few news stories to help us illustrate the impact online and in-store shopping has in this exciting period. Read on to learn the astonishing spending facts you’re no doubt currently a part of!
• A National Retail Association analysis predicts Aussies will spent more than $43 billion this Christmas period
• That would be a 5% increase from last year’s $40.7 billion
• Shoppers are expected to spend about $1800 each (Woah!)
• Of course, we’ll be spending big on furniture, electronics, entertainment, clothing, health and beauty products, books, toys, sports equipment, vouchers, and so much more, but a lot of our spend will also go towards groceries as well as social outings like dinners and coffee catch ups.
• Click Frenzy is kind of like Australia’s version of Cyber Monday
• It had a troubled start in 2012 when the site crashed within minutes of launching (due to an unprecedented stampede of traffic!)
• This year, though, was a well-rounded success! The 24-hour event garnered 1.23 million visitors - a 16% increase on 2013!
• The event sent 1.98 million visits directly to retailer websites
• 54% of traffic came from mobile and tablet (that’s up 5% on 2013)
• One-third of all traffic came from smartphones (!!!!!!)
What’s that? You’re sick of hearing about mobile traffic? Whatever, we’re going to talk about it anyway: if you’re not optimising your websites, your product pages, your e-commerce system, and your business for a mobile world, you’re gonna get left behind!
• Adobe predicts Australians will spend 15% more online this holiday season compared to last year
• Australia depends heavily on online shopping during the Christmas holiday period: purchases made during these few weeks contribute towards almost a quarter of total annual online sales!
• By the end of 2014, Adobe predicts 8% of all online sales in Australia will be done using a smartphone, putting Australia fourth in the world, behind Japan, Ireland and the US
So why do people love to shop online?
At a glance, you’re told whether a product is in stock, sold out, low in stock, or about to be restocked. It’s as simple as that: you’re looking for a product, and if it’s in stock, it can be yours!
Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon scrolling through pages and pages of clothing, footwear, accessories, homewares, gifts, DVDs, and so much more in your pyjamas on your laptop. Shop at any hour of the day (or night) and avoid the shopping centres during busy periods.
Many online retailers offer discounts upon initial signup, and will reward you with periodic specials – not just during special events or holidays! Overseas shopping often produces amazingly low prices, too.
With many of our favourite international retailers finally providing the option to ship to Australia, we can order clothes from the UK and books from the US. We can also order nationwide, from that particular swimwear brand that you’re following on Instagram but who only has one retail store in Queensland!
Affordable shipping options:
Many online retailers offer free shipping (even overseas ones!), while on others you’ll qualify for free shipping once you’ve spent a certain amount. Even those that do charge shipping try to keep costs low and provide safe, speedy and trusted delivery services, right to your home or office.
Product research is easier:
Open up multiple tabs and compare away! Research the competition, hunt out any bargains or special discounts, compare shipping costs, read reviews, and make your purchase decision – all from the one device!
Does your online content marketing strategy attract and nurture the right customers?
The ease and convenience to which we can shop online has given us an expectation of “convenience [and] immediacy”.
We know this already though, right?!
Not everyone who visits a product page is ready to immediately add it to their cart. Perhaps they’re in the initial research stage, where their first port-of-call is likely to be Google. They’ll dig around, learn about your brand, and check out your shipping rates and returns policy.
Next, they will start comparing your product to that of your competitor, sizing it up based on price, features, reviews, and shipping options.
After all that, maybe they’ll return to hand over their credit card details and make a purchase.
It’s how you nurture a prospect throughout their buying cycle evolution that is the foundation of a solid content marketing strategy.
Sensational social media customer service is invaluable
Social media customer service has ballooned this past year, and research shows that when a customer Tweets to a brand, 53% expect a response within the hour. If that Tweet is a complaint, that number soars to 72%!
We’re living in a fast-paced world. We’re always connected – how often is your phone further than a metre away from you? – so retailers: you must keep up!
Christmas is just around the corner – there’s no time to waste! Get a FREE Google AdWords Quote today!