Black Friday occurs in the US the day after Thanksgiving (November 29 in Australia) and traditionally signals a nationwide retail sales day featuring heavily discounted goods, much like our Boxing Day sales here in Australia. Black Friday in America is the start of the Christmas shopping season and acquired its name from the revenue generated, advancing store accounts into the black.
What is Black Friday?
Most Australians are unaware of Black Friday, yet it has been gaining momentum here in the past few years. It heralds massive discounts of up to 40% off sales of clothing, whitegoods and travel. Australian small businesses are tuning in to the Black Friday concept to sell discounted goods locally and overseas. Online merchants such as eBay, Kogan, JB Hi-Fi and Amazon are also gearing up for Black Friday sales in Australia.
Central Victorian businesses can take advantage of this shopping festival by offering in store discounts not only to foot traffic, but also to the millions of online shoppers looking for a bargain.
Local merchants such as Myer, the Good Guys, Harvey Norman and EB Games have published their Black Friday catalogues, which you can see here on the My Catalogue website.
Because north America is a day behind us, Australian retailers have the advantage of offering Black Friday discounts nationally and again on Saturday for overseas shoppers.
This day is called Cyber Monday and is dedicated to online shopping platforms for bargain hunting and to continue the retail festival. Online shoppers will be expecting bargains on electronics and software, hence the name Cyber Monday. Like Black Friday, it is used as a big revenue driver for the American and Canadian economy.
North American Cyber Monday occurs on the Monday following Black Friday. Once again, because we are a day ahead, Cyber Monday will occur on Monday night into Tuesday for overseas shoppers looking for a bargain on Aussie sites. For Australian retailing, December 2 is the date to mark in your calendar.
With fast internet at the tip of their fingers wherever they are, consumers have power. Shoppers are savvier than ever before, using their devices to compare quality, read reviews and search for better discounts while visiting a store. Staying competitive means knowing your market with awareness of price competition and quality differences offered by other businesses. Having a user-friendly eCommerce website with simple shopping cart and secure payment systems is essential. For your products to be found via search engines it is crucial that you invest in SEO and keyword building.
A study by Blis research found that over 50% of Australians prefer to shop in a brick and mortar store to get a tactile sense of the item they are buying. This is an enormous advantage over eCommerce sales that captures 9% of total retail sales. Online sales are set to rise to 15.1% by the end of 2019, so it’s important not be complacent if you want to remain competitive in the changing retail climate. In the top ten countries for eCommerce market size, Australia ranks 10th. This is quite a feat given our comparative population size.
In 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales grew by 28% in Australia. Food and alcohol purchases increased by 41%. Trends show that Australians are starting their Christmas shopping earlier and businesses taking advantage of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday discount strategy will increase takings.
If Australian retailers remain competitively priced during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, they will capture the local share of revenue. Returning or exchanging items locally is a more appealing option for Aussie consumers. Convenience and postage costs influence a sale. In store gift wrapping has added to the appeal of local pre-Christmas shopping. Anything retailers can value add to their products and benefit their customers will give them an advantage over competitors and increase profit.
In conclusion, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are a captive national and international audience. Central Victorian businesses can take advantage of this shopping festival by offering discounts not only to foot traffic, but also to the millions of online shoppers looking for a bargain.