Behind the Data: Meeting Customer Demand this Holiday Season

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 29 Sep 2021

This December quarter is set to be the biggest for online shopping on record. With online adoption well underway, retailers need to take action to ensure they are providing exactly what consumers want if they want to stay ahead.

Power Retail and Australia Post joined together last week for a webinar, to further explore the data behind their latest report.

With added expertise from Ben Franzi, General Manager of Parcels and Express Services at Australia Post, Dan Ferguson, CMO of Adore Beauty and Natasha Sholl, Insights Editor at Power Retail, the three examined the leading cause for cart abandonment, managing stock levels in the lead up to Christmas, and the importance of transparency if retailers want to establish solid and trusted relationships with customers. 

There is no secret that the pandemic has projected massive e-commerce growth in Australia, and worldwide. In fact, the seven days ending 21 August was the largest e-commerce week in 2021 to date.

According to Australia Post research, the ongoing stay at home orders in NSW saw immense growth of 48 percent YoY in the eight weeks leading up to August 21. Similarly, Victoria’s ongoing lockdown measures have resulted in a 14.5 percent week on week growth pattern in the seen days to 21 August.

The Online Surge

For retailers like Adore Beauty, this has not gone unnoticed. “We had a 48 percent growth YoY in FY21,” said Dan Ferguson, CMO of Adore Beauty. However, even as lockdown measures were relaxed over the last 12 months, there has been no return to ‘normal’, as Ferguson explained. With every spike in growth comes a new baseline, meaning retailers need to take action if they want to avoid being left behind.

Advice that Ferguson offered to retailers, both pureplay and omnichannel was simple: “Don’t be lazy,” Ferguson explained.

“As a retailer, there’s a lot of growth in e-commerce. It’s driving more people to buy online for the very first time. And as they buy online, they’ll typically buy online in the future. So, if you’re sitting in your e-commerce business and marvelling at the growth, make sure you benchmark that against your industry, your competitors, and see how well you are doing in the market. If you’re in an omnichannel business, and you’re getting astounding growth, make sure you get a net-zero look at how much if that is your customers transferring over, and is there any leakage as you’re growing.”

The Issue of Stock Levels

In the last few months, the issue of stock levels has been at the forefront of many retailers’ minds. According to Power Retail research, a shocking 54 percent of Australian consumers have had their orders cancelled after purchase due to stock levels.

What does this lead to in the future? The majority (51 percent) of Australian consumers said they would abandon this purchase altogether; 26 percent said they would instead head over to a competitor. Only a small figure (five percent) of shoppers said they would wait for the item to come back into stock, and continue shopping with the retailer.

Further research shows that 39 percent of consumers said they’d be ‘unsure’ about shopping with that retailer again if their order was cancelled due to stock shortages. A further 20 percent said they would be either unlikely or very unlikely to shop with that retailer in the future. In contrast, 41 percent said they would be willing to give the retailer another chance.

So, what can retailers do about this? Simply, be transparent. Providing a stock status on a product page, and providing customers with a notification when stock becomes available is an easy way to avoid losing customer trust in the future.

When a retailer is reaching out to a customer to inform them of stock updates, it’s important they reach all bases. This isn’t just email, as Ferguson explained. “t’s all about reach and frequency, not just on the site or via email – email only reaches five or ten percent of your base – also via third party platforms, and remarketing,” he said.

We can’t give away all of the juicy bits here! Check out the full webinar with Australia Post, Power Retail and Adore Beauty below.

Power Retail and Australia Post have teamed up to share targeted insights on Australian e-commerce – the Australia Post and Power Retail Insights report can give retailers the support they need in the lead up to the December quarter.

If you want even more Australian retail and consumer data, A Switched On membership gives you access to Power Retail’s full suite of shopper and retailer insights, plus the Retailer Top 500 Rankings, and real-time benchmarking data. Enter the Coupon Code: INSIGHTS to get 10% off an annual Power Retail Switched On membership. 

The e-commerce landscape is changing. With a Power Retail Switched On membership, you get access to current e-commerce revenue and forecasting, traffic levels, average conversion rate, payment preferences and more! Sign up today and receive an Apple Watch Series 6 – Find out more here

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