The Splurge Before Christmas

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 17 Dec 2019

We’re only a handful of days before Christmas, and e-commerce companies are racing against the clock to make sure all the purchased goods are delivered to its customers before the big day. The National Retail Association has revealed that Australian consumers are set to ‘splurge’ $14 billion in the week leading up to Christmas.

With the conclusion of sales events like Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the race to make a pre-Christmas purchase isn’t ending any time soon.

Dominique Lamb, the CEO of the NRA, notes that retailers should arm themselves for the final rush in the lead up to the holiday.

“The NRA is expecting the shopping frenzy to really ramp up as we kick-off the seven-day countdown until Christmas,” she explains. “According to our forecasts, Aussies are set to splurge $14 billion in the final seven days as shoppers finalise purchases and bag fresh food for their Christmas Day celebrations.”

For e-commerce, it’s predicted that customers will spend $350 million via pureplay retailers, with $650 million spent through omnichannel retailers. This, in total, equates to a spend of $1 billion in the lead up to Christmas Day.

“After an underwhelming year for retail, the Christmas trade period has so far proven to be a welcome relief. Black Friday was an unprecedented success, with $5 billion spent in the four days to Cyber Monday,” Lamb tells us.

“Although there is a growing trend that sees consumers knocking off Christmas shopping earlier than in previous years, the final week is still the most frantic time for retailers across the country with $2 billion spent per day.”

According to a study from Accenture, the average Australian customer will spend $686 each during Christmas, with more than half of this on groceries.

The study also revealed that one-third (34 percent) of Australians will shop for Christmas online, and seven in ten shoppers (66 percent) will ‘turn to Amazon before looking or buying anywhere else’.

Advice for Retailers

According to the study by Accenture, the growing trend for online shopping means that retailers have to allow plan ahead for inventory, and dedicate time to plan a strategy for ‘superior customer service’.

“Despite the growing trend toward online shopping, and the need to provide consumers with a strong online proposition, bricks and mortar retail remains a critical channel for shoppers in Australia, especially over the holiday season. With two-thirds of consumers planning to spend-instore, retailers need to carefully plan their strategy for superior customer service as well as labour, assortment and allocation of inventory to ensure they are winning the attention of customers at this busy time of year,” explains Glenn Heppell, Products Lead for Accenture Australia and New Zealand.

“There is a growing trend toward consumers spending their money on brands that reflect their values and who demonstrate they are taking positive steps to improve sustainability through their business practices. As consumers become more environmentally and socially aware of the impact retailing has on the environment, retailers need to design their products and business around responsible initiatives.”

In total, the NRA estimates that the total spend over the Christmas period equates to $50.1 billion, with purchase dates taken from half of November and the entire month of December.

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