With only months away, retailers are preparing for the all-important Christmas shopping period.
2018 has seen slowing growth in retail sales, growing pressures on consumers’ disposable incomes, as well as Amazon’s official entry into the Australia market.
So, what should retailers expect at the end of this year? Let’s look at some of the top retail trends covered in Hitwise’s Christmas Planning 2018 Webinar.
1. Visits rise online, decline offline
According to Shoppertrak, footfall across Australian retail stores has declined by -3.5% compared to last year, with the exception of Easter. As footfall drops, online retail continues to grow, with Q4 2017 seeing a 10% increase YoY. This acceleration in online activity was most evident in November, which saw a 11.15% uptake, thanks to a visitation surge to Amazon in the midst of their official launch speculation.
2. Department Stores, House & Garden and Electronics flourished
Of the 10% growth in visits YoY, some categories saw more success than others. Topping the list is Department Stores with a 21% growth in December YoY where Amazon resides, along with specialist categories like House & Garden (+21%) and Electronics (+20%).
3. Click Frenzy and Black Friday – the new kids on the block
Whilst Boxing Day remains the largest sale day over the Christmas shopping season, Click Frenzy & Black Friday are far outgrowing it with more than 20% rises YoY. With Amazon no doubt making a bigger play this year, and more retailers hopping onto these November sales dates, we expect these figures to grow even further in 2018.
4. Amazon AU and eBay battled it out for conversions
The Australian launch of Amazon last holiday season saw an exceptionally high conversion rate of 7.25% (the proportion of visits that have led to an online purchase). Only eBay saw similar conversion rates over this period of around about 6%. With Amazon and eBay outpacing in volume and conversions, the key challenges for other retailers are then two-fold: how can they attract more quality visitors to their site, and how can they increase those visitors to convert on their site?
This Christmas season, shoppers will dedicate more of their research and purchase journeys online. New sales periods, like Click Frenzy and Black Friday, will also become increasingly popular, particularly with Amazon making bigger play in holiday season 2018.
Marketers need to then develop creative ways to attract potential buyers to their site prior to these key retail dates. They need to match compelling offers with their customers’ needs and interests, in order to convert browsers into buyers over the all-important, yet highly competitive, Christmas shopping period.
What to know more? For more Christmas strategy insights, check out our Christmas Planning 2018 Webinar.