From Single’s Day, Click Frenzy to Black Friday, November establishes itself as the month of online sales
With November just passing, the Christmas shopping season is truly underway. But, Aussies are in a different position than this time last year.
The economy has seen declining housing prices, weaker consumer confidence, and rising energy costs. 2018 also marks Amazon’s first official Black Friday in Australia. With their early successes on Prime Day , Amazon is challenging the status quo for traditional brick and mortars.
Despite this, retailers are optimistic about the all important “Golden Quarter”. According to a recent Deloitte study, the industry expects a boost in online sales. 79% of surveyed retailers predicted more than 10% online growth over the Christmas trading period.
From Hitwise data, an online rise has certainly been the case.
In this blog, we review how key sales dates – Single’s Day, Click Frenzy and Black Friday – have performed. We highlight which categories and retailers are driving online retail growth in November.
Black Friday – the biggest retail day in November
Unlike December where sales are mostly clustered around Boxing Day period, November has had a string of big retail dates, from mid-month to end of the month. Visits to the retail industry consistently grew, from Single’s Day (falling on the 11th November) to Cyber Monday (falling on 26th November).
The exception was Day 1 of Click Frenzy, which saw a 5% drop compared to the previous year but a 4% increase on Day 2. The winner for November, however, was Black Friday reaching 43.6 million visits making it the online event of the month.
Single’s Day – Aliexpress sees a 26% YoY surge
Although smaller than the other sales dates, online retail activity on Single’s Day grew by 9% YoY. In particular, visits to AliExpress (the international site operated by Alibaba) grew by 26% YoY, so a difference of almost 50,000 online visits.
2018’s Single’s Day also saw a number of new search queries associated with day, such as “Singles Day Nintendo Switch” and “Singles Day Sales Luxury”. New terms going to AliExpress’ site also rose, like “Gear S3” and “Beelink S1”, indicating a potential shift in electronics, gaming and luxury demand around the massive Chinese sales day.
Click Frenzy – Sportswear, Alcohol and Beauty players grow
Online retail activity was down 5% on Day 1 of Click Frenzy (13th November), but up 4.3% on Day 2 (14th November) compared to last year. Whilst that was the overall trend, a number of top Australian brands were able to reap the benefits of Click Frenzy.
Myer received the largest share of traffic from Click Frenzy’s site on the 13th. A number of other sportswear and footwear brands, like Hype, Under Armour, Platypus Shoes and Volley, also grew YoY.
Black Friday – Department Stores and House & Garden saw largest growth
Black Friday was the second largest growing retail sales day in November, up 7% to reach 43.6 million online visits. Breaking this out by retail vertical, Department Stores and Apparel & Accessories took the biggest share of traffic on Black Friday. Department Stores and House & Garden also saw the largest growth YoY, up 33% and 27%, respectively.
Amazon’s first official Black Friday in Oz delivers
Amazon was a key player driving the increase in Department Stores. The etailing giant received over 1.3 million visits on Black Friday – their second largest since launching their AU site. Daily traffic to Amazon AU was up 38% higher than Black Friday 2017, 38% higher than Boxing Day 2017, and 70% higher than Prime Day.
Looking at this hour-by-hour, Amazon’s traffic also peaked over key working hours, from 9am to 12pm and again in the afternoon around 4pm. Similar to other markets, gaming consoles, electronics and toys dominated top searches within Amazon. In particular, Australians were searching for Amazon deals on “Nintendo switch” and “PS4”.
What does this data tell us?
Hitwise data shows that November is becoming increasingly important in the retail calendar. Whilst the economic back drop has been shaky, the online retail channel continues to grow.
All key sales dates, except for day 1 of Click Frenzy, have risen YoY. Amazon also had a successful Black Friday, propelling the Department Stores category.
Whilst retailers are evaluating their November performance, they also need to prepare for the next peak week fast approaching – Christmas and Boxing Day. No doubt, eyes will still be on Amazon and their next move.
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