Nov 25, 2019 | By Samantha Rigg

This month in the world of app commerce – November 2019 – Holiday edition

Woman with smartphone in winter clothes

Black Friday is just a few days away! So this month we are covering the latest predictions for the Holiday Sales 2019 and what to expect this year.

The challenges of Black Friday and what to expect

There has been mixed speculation about how big Black Friday will be for retailers this year. With troublesome economic climates and changing consumer behaviour, shoppers have become more cautious with their spending and therefore harder to predict.

New research suggests that mobile shopping is going to grow 20% this holiday season. With online spending expected to grow14.1% year-over-year according to Adobe Analytics. In fact, BounceX predicts that mobile sales will overtake desktop for the first time. Actually, fashion retailers on the Poq platform even saw app overtake desktop traffic and sales last holiday season.

Conversely, Gumtree found that 58% of people surveyed planned to ignore the biggest sales days of the year in order to avoid unnecessary purchases (48%) and avoid being “pressured” into buying (31%). Furthermore, in the UK, 74% of shoppers plan to avoid the shops on Black Friday. Could this mean the appeal of big flash sales like Black Friday is shrinking as shoppers opt to look for deals over an extended period?

Genesys found a 2% growth in consumers intentions to visit stores this year, totalling 39% of respondents asked. However, the most common reasons for not hitting stores are; stores are too busy (37%), online shopping is easier (27%) and the price reductions are not worth the inconvenience (25%). What can retailers do to combat the challenges of getting shoppers into the store this Black Friday?

Holidays are the time for… omnichannel shopping

Thirty-three per cent of shoppers begin their holiday gift research in-store according to SAP Customer Experience data, meanwhile, the remaining 67% start their shopping research online. Despite this difference, 63% are still expecting to visit a physical store over the holiday season. Cardlytics identifies 2 key types of holiday shopper. Firstly, your omnichannel shopper who spends as much as 2x more with a retailer during holidays compared to those who simply shop on one channel. The second type are repeat customers, who regularly make purchases throughout the year. These shoppers typically drive 70% of holiday spend and spend 43% more than newly acquired customers. So it’s important to ensure a fluid shopping experience across channels.

Discover how you can bridge the gap between digital and online with an omnichannel app strategy.

Tell me how

Criteo goes as far as to suggest that the channels shoppers use in the holidays actually depends on when in the holidays they shop. In November before Black Friday, 60% of shopping is typically in-store. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, shoppers mostly opt to buy online as in-store sales drop a significant 30% in the US and 56% in EMEA. After Cyber Monday and as Christmas draws closer, shoppers move back to the store, especially in the final week before Christmas where ordering online is risky to get gifts delivered on time. 

So for omnichannel retailers, it’s important to target your shoppers through the right channels at the right time. Messaging around in-store offers and click and collect (or Buy Online Pick-up In-Store, BOPIS) availability in early November and after Black Friday could be effective. However, pushing online shopping throughout the peak week, driving shoppers to shop online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday could be a better use of media spend.

More holiday shopping behaviour

Knowing your customer is never more important than during the peak trading season. With more than half of holiday shoppers plan to buy gifts for themselves this Black Friday according to JLL’s 2019 Retail Holiday Survey.

Additionally, consumers start shopping earlier each year. Ebay has suggested that Black Friday actually started 9 days before the day itself, with searches for Black Friday sales significantly growing. This is certainly something we noticed in 2018 where average daily revenues were the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving itself saw revenue 2.9x the average day for Q4.

Returning holiday shoppers who shop with a particular retailer or brand year after year are estimated to convert at 4.2% compared to 2% for all customers according to Monetate. It’s easy to overlook this group as a small percentage of overall shoppers, however, they are clearly far more valuable. Targeting shoppers who purchased with you last Black Friday and driving them to your shopping channels, especially on app where you can easily drive them back to your brand through push notification, couldn’t be more critical.

Stay tuned for the latest results from Black Friday as we’ll be publishing our initial findings early next week!

Holiday extra

Singles Day, the Chinese shopping phenomenon on 11th November each year saw more than $1 billion spent in just over a minute! Eclipsing the predictions for Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined! Participating retailers in the West saw the likes of ASOS, Nike, Boohoo, Steam and Amazon offering discounted products or even discounts site-wide on the day. With retailers jumping on the bandwagon, it’s safe to say that we expect Single’s Day to gain momentum outside of China next year.

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