Top Tips for Peak Retail 2019

Top Tips for Peak Retail 2019

The holiday season is fast approaching. With Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Boxing Day weeks away, how prepared are you for the largest retail period of the year?

Visits to retail sites during key sales events are up +7.5% YoY showing a continued rise in online shopping. Here are 4 big learnings from last year’s holiday season to help marketers prepare for the 2019 season.

1. Holiday Shopping is Happening Earlier

The 2018 holiday shopping season was positive in Australia with a +2.1% YoY growth in visits to retail sites. However, December was a weaker month than November. Events like Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday helped November outpace Christmas and Boxing Day purchases in December.

Even though November was the largest month for online spending at 27 billion AUD, October is becoming a popular month for retail. Turnover in October grew +3.5% YoY, the highest of any month in Q4. December’s weaker performance combined with October’s growth indicates that consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier.

Marketers should be prepared for early gift buying in 2019. 

Source: ABS- Retail Trade, Australia, Nov 2018​
Source: ABS- Retail Trade, Australia, Nov 2018​

2. Small Retailers Thrive During Click Frenzy

Click Frenzy marks the start of peak holiday shopping for Australians, and it was a huge success for retailers in 2018. The first day of the sales event drove 84% more traffic compared to the week prior, and actually generated 36K more visits than Black Friday 2018.

Brands like New Balance, Under Armour, Canningvaleand Boozebudrecorded extremely large growth during Click Frenzy. New Balance’s +1100% growth in total visits week-over-week was the largest of any brand.

3. Boxing Day Crushes it for Traditional Retailers

Even though November has become a bigger sales month, Boxing Day continues to be the largest shopping day for Australian retailers. 58.1 million purchases were made on Boxing Day 2018. Not only that, but Boxing Day matched the year-over-year growth of Black Friday at +7.5%. While small brands saw success during Click Frenzy, and Amazon doubled down on Black Friday, retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, and Myer, doubled their traffic WoW on BoxingDay.

To take advantage of this strong sales event, retailers should strike consumers with promotions when visits spike at 10 am on Boxing Day.

Source: Hitwise, AU. Key daily total visits to retail industry, 2016-2018.
Source: Hitwise, AU. YoY Change in daily total visits to retail industry.

4. Amazon AU is a Rising Threat

Amazon is trying to condition Australians to shop from the Amazon AU site instead of the US site. The data shows that Aussies are browsing more on the US site, but purchasing more on the AU site. In fact, 14.7% of visitors to Amazon AU made a purchase in Q4.

Amazon AU is also by far the fastest growing site in terms of website traffic YoY with +88% growth in 2018. While retailers should keep their eye on the development of Amazon AU, the e-commerce giant still has a long way to go in the Australian market. eBay generates 4x more traffic than Amazon AU, and their 2% of visit share in Australia is nothing compared to their 26% and 18% visits share in the UK and the US, respectively.

Source: Hitwise, AU. Unique visitors to Amazon AU and Amazon, 13 weeks ending 29/12/18.

Since we know Australians are beginning their holiday shopping earlier, Hitwise wants to keep you updated with how their shopping behaviours change during the next 13 weeks. To learn more about top trending search terms, channel mix, consumer engagement, and more, we will be launching a Retail Peak Planning Dashboard and updating it with the latest data every Tuesday through the end of 2019. Keep an eye out for it in the coming week!