3 December 2021 Luke Goldsworthy

Customers Spread Spending

Online Black Friday spending in the United States failed to build on the previous year’s total for the first time ever, according to the Holiday Shopping Report released by Adobe. While the US$8.9 billion tallied fell $100 million short of the 2020 total, total shopping over the period this year is significantly up.

Adobe noted that purchases were spread over a broader time frame this year, highlighting the need for your eCommerce store to be perennially ready to seize sales opportunities rather than just geared around key dates in the shopping calendar. Interestingly, 44.4% of these sales were made on a smartphone, up 10.6% on last year.

“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of past years,” said Vivek Pandya, the lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”

In addition to some stores beginning to offer specials as early as October, and the shift in spending habits across a broader time frame, sales have also been affected by worldwide supply chain issues and the ongoing chip shortage that has impacted appliance and electronic sales.

The Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan expect that the final numbers domestically over the four-day Black Friday to Cyber Monday stretch will reach $5.4 billion.

The National Retail Federation predicts that sales in the United States over the November and December period will rise between 8.5% to 10.5%, to set record year-on-year growth and to total around US$850 billion. NRF President and CEO Matt Shay said: “It’s not as if there are not some headwinds and challenges, and yet in spite of that, we have a great deal of confidence that consumers will continue to power the economy in this last quarter of the year.”

The threat of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 looms over Australia with the recent confirmation of cases on these shores, and will likely drive online shopping demand. Fortunately, Australia has been named the most active online retail market in the world in the Publicis Sapient Digital Life Index 2021. The November survey found that 62% of Australians searched online for new products and services, the highest rate in the world, and seven points above the global average.

As a warning, the survey also noted the top frustrations for online consumers:

– Poor search functionality

– Poor site navigation

– Slow page loading times

Forty percentage of Australians shop online at least monthly, and 35% do it weekly. However, eCommerce retailers are struggling to provide Gen Z shoppers with the level satisfaction they desire, particularly with regard to smartphone optimisation, where the majority of that age group makes its purchases.

If you would like help getting your online store optimised ahead of Christmas – or for any other eCommerce-related questions – please don’t hesitate to click below to set up an obligation-free consultation with The Playhouse Group.

With decades of experience and as a certified Magento partner, The Playhouse Group can help your business maximise its online sales capabilities. Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any other eCommerce questions you may have.