The holiday season is upon us, and with the festive season comes a growth in spending by consumers.
Shopping through online retailers is a digital habit Australians have acquired over the years, however this year, more than ever before there has been a huge change in how Australian consumers are shopping and how they are using online tools.
This has led many small businesses to search for specialist marketing agencies, like Rebel Connect, in the hopes of taking their business online to increase their online presence, and get more customers engaging with their products and services.
Most of us understand the reasoning behind this surge in online purchasing by consumers is not only the holiday season coming into full swing, but is also the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, driving shoppers online, sometimes for the first time.
We can see shoppers’ response to these changes in consuming products through a recent Google commissioned survey released in November 2020, which found more Australians than ever before are spending online.
In September 2020 alone, there was a 79 per cent increase in online shopping activity across Australia. Not only are consumers spending their time shopping online instead of in-store, the survey found they are also heading online for shopping inspiration and guidance, with 63 per cent of Australians turning to online search when they need help with shopping decisions.
What businesses can take from this information is quite simple. Despite restrictions easing, online shopping is still on the rise, and according to Google’s survey, Australians’ digital behaviours have completely evolved.
So, what should businesses consider during the busy holiday season?
Online shoppers are curious, and pick the brands that appear quickly on their search
Australian shoppers are now taking the time to investigate and weigh-up their options. Consumers also don’t mind trying new brands, products or services, with the survey confirming 1 in 5 Australians purchased at least one new category online between March 2020 and April 2020.
If anything, this means that businesses need to connect with consumers as soon as shoppers start their research, ensuring to grab people’s attention from the get go. Google’s survey enforces this point, with research showing 1 in 3 consumers will pick their second-choice brand over their first choice just because it’s present.
So what does this mean for businesses with brick-and-mortar stores? Well, according to the survey, Australian shoppers still go online to check everything from product availability to store hours despite shoppers’ intention to make their final purchase at a physical store. The survey shows 89 per cent of shoppers ventured online before buying in-store last peak season, which emphasises the fact that retailers must maintain a strong digital presence to bring in more customers this Christmas period.
Marketing agencies, like Rebel Connect, maintain businesses strong digital presence through using automation tools to connect more with shoppers, and embracing machine learning. This will ensure there are no missed opportunities by businesses to connect with customers from search to purchase.
Shoppers expectations and priorities have evolved
Now that we understand what consumers are doing online, the next step is to understand why they are making these purchasing decisions. With more time spent on making the right choice and weighing up their options, research shows that consumers’ priority is finding something that is perfect for their unique needs. Even with endless options available online, customers can get caught in a seemingly endless loop of research, something called ‘the messy middle’. This is where your business must appear and connect with shoppers searching for their goods and services.
The survey also shows consumers are paying close attention to where products are coming from, with 61 per cent of shoppers claiming buying at local stores is important for the community. Letting consumers know that your business is local can be the difference between shoppers making the purchase or going to another local business.
Of course, taking into consideration the impacts of COVID-19 is also important, as most shoppers’ personal finances have been affected during the year, which means most shoppers will be holiday shopping on a budget.
Make Australians’ shopping easier this holiday season
With this festive season bringing a Christmas unlike any other, most shoppers will try to ensure it is even more special this year. Even though shoppers are being more cautious of how they are spending, they are still very excited about the holiday season, with the survey showing 1 in 3 Australian shoppers are more likely to increase their shopping during Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Boxing Day this 2020 compared to last year.
So with this in mind, consider the following points to work towards in the lead up to your festive season campaigns.
- It’s important your business uses data to drive the right marketing campaigns for your audience. Using tools to understand how consumers interact with your website can help you highlight the products and services are most popular with your customers.
- Ensure your presence is constant across each channel. The various channels you have within your business campaign can help to increase the return on your investment, and can be up to 35 per cent more effective according to Google analytics.
- Be on top of current trends and know what your customers want. Ensure you keep up-to-date with and understand what people are searching for so you can quickly shift your messaging and promotions to target your audiences’ current wants and needs.
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