Securing Sales in the Silly Season: Q&A with Catch

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By Published On: November 16, 20200 Comments

The 2020 holiday season is expected to be unlike any other, with the mass adoption of online retail as a result of the pandemic. We spoke to Ryan Gracie, the CMO of Catch, to understand Catch's changing customer behaviour, the race to online adoption and if online sales events are losing their sparkle (hint: they're not).

The Christmas season is rapidly approaching. What have been some of the most interesting purchase patterns and trends you’ve seen from customers over the last few weeks? 

Catch has seen a change in popular items, as more people look to online for their essentials. In fact, our top converting products are grocery items, indicating that customers appreciate the ease and convenience of having everyday items like dishwashing tablets and toothpaste delivered straight to their door. We’ve also seen an increase in sales for certain kitchen items, such as the air fryers, they have come from nowhere, people love them.

Another result of lockdown measures and changing habits, there has been a noticeable spike in items such as active gear and backyard furniture, as people look to spend more time outdoors, and a rise in sales for scented candles, as people look to create a more inviting atmosphere at home.

As we approach Christmas, we’re noticing that customers are really looking for top brands at low prices. Top brands and products that are selling especially well this season are Dyson, Nike, Nintendo, Lego and Apple Airpods.

Catch has been one of the leading online marketplaces in Australia for years. However, as online shopping continues to expand, more Australians are planning to shop online and avoid stores. How does Catch plan to attract new customers during this time?

Our strategy will always remain consistent – prioritise offering our customers great savings on their favourite brands. We are also dedicated to providing customers with a positive shopping experience and have a growing team of UX designers who are focused on improving our customer experience; constantly changing and adapting to our customers’ needs.

This year specifically, we’ve launched some key and pivotal partnerships which have added even more value to our influx of new customers that have discovered the benefits of shopping on Catch. These partnerships, such as the availability of Target on Catch Marketplace and offering Flybuys, have definitely helped attract new customers, especially existing Wesfarmers shoppers. 

In addition to the partnerships, we’ve rolled out initiatives to better serve our customers, such as providing free shipping with no minimum spend for our Club Catch members, this is a massive benefit  – providing even more incentive to join and purchase from Catch.

via Catch


Many older Australian shoppers are using e-commerce platforms for the first time. How does Catch plan to make the shopping experience easier for those who aren’t used to the e-commerce platform during the holiday period?

Our approach when designing the website or mobile app is to put the customer first. While Australians are shopping online more than they ever have, it’s still crucial to keep in mind the varying levels of experience and comfort with technology that Catch customers will have. We have a very talented team who consider our customers’ unique needs, expectations and goals as we work to design and constantly improve the shopping experience on Catch. 

In order to completely understand what process will best suit our range of shoppers, we regularly engage with a broad range of customers through research, design and product testing. During conversations with our senior customers this year, we are focused on finding ways to provide an experience that is as easy as it is fun and to really help bring out the joy of shopping on Catch. Our priority is to design a platform that allows people to easily find what they are looking for backed up with exceptional customer service that’s always available, across multiple channels. Customers from all demographics consistently tell us how easy the Catch app is to navigate, they love the shopping experience.

There are so many sales events taking place in November, like Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Do you think that sales events will continue to have the same impact in the future, or do you believe there will be fatigue on sales events from consumers? 

Sales events such as Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will always remain popular with our customers – there’s a type of excitement around searching for the best deals that won’t change. These key sales events also hold quite a bit of value. They take the pressure off Aussies by giving them the best prices on thousands of products as they begin ticking off their Christmas lists around this time of year.

There is a chance they expand beyond a reasonable amount of days in the years to come, and there could be a point where that window has to reduce, but in the near future, these events will continue to grow.

At our core proposition has and will remain the same; continue to provide our customers great value on millions of products across a broad range of categories, anything they want and everything they need. 

According to the Power Retail Trajectory report, 91 percent of Aussie shoppers are spending more or the same online as they did last year. How can Catch capitalise on this and further grow online sales? 

Catch’s customer base was already growing rapidly, however, the pandemic accelerated a clear trend towards online shopping. We could never have predicted the influx of shoppers and orders we experienced, but we’re incredibly proud of how the team adapted so quickly and worked hard to provide a seamless experience for our customers.

Our strategy to keep up momentum with customers remains simple but effective throughout the year; to become even more famous than we currently are through an investment in growing the brand, driving loyalty through Flybuys and Club Catch, always offering great products at great prices, constantly improve supply chain, ensuring fast delivery, maintain exceptional customer service, and continue to be best in class marketers across both brand and performance channels, which includes a sophisticated customer onboarding and retention strategy that keeps new and current customers visiting and purchasing on

Fifty-nine (59) percent of Australian shoppers are currently experiencing a delay in their online orders. Furthermore, 55 percent said they were concerned about potential delivery delays from their online orders. How do you believe Catch can accommodate the influx of online orders during the busiest shopping season and manage the delays in delivery? 

Since 2014, we’ve implemented multiple robotic picking systems in our warehouse to help keep up with the demand of high order numbers. With nearly seven years under our belts, these robotic systems keep us well prepared to accommodate the influx of online orders that our warehouse has to coordinate at any given time.

Today, our warehouses have a number of different automated technologies that help us fulfil orders with maximum efficiency. For example, our Automated Mobile Robots (AMGs) help us to pick an additional 2000 orders per hour, manage an additional 80,000 SKUs above its existing range, and help manage the demand in the busiest shopping periods. 

Thanks to the robotic systems in place and our incredible warehouse teams, Catch is currently very well placed to meet the rising demand now and into the future. The investment in these technologies also ensures that Catch will continue to improve our product and service offerings for our rapidly growing consumer base.

via Catch

Convenience and ease of use are two of the most important aspects of online retail for Australian customers. In 2019, only 46 percent of Aussies used shopping apps for their purchases, but in 2020, that number skyrocketed to 70 percent. Has Catch experienced an uplift in purchases using mobile or Retailer apps? 

Yes, absolutely. Catch is the number one rated Australian Shopping app in the iOS app store and we have seen a notable increase in usage of the Catch app as a result of lockdown restrictions and the increased amount of time spent on personal devices due to much more downtime. We also think this is a reflection of customers’ needs at that time – turning to the ease and convenience of the mobile app which has been designed to make the online shopping experience even more seamless. Catch customers have also snapped up the special app-only offers, which act as another driver app usage.

What do you expect retail to look like in 2021? Does Catch have any forecasts for the retail industry? 

The trend of online shopping accelerated greatly in 2020, and we don’t expect that to slow down. As more people relied on online retailers for their necessities this year, people that wouldn’t have otherwise ventured online have discovered just how easy and convenient it was. New habits have formed and for that reason, we expect the current rate of online shopping will continue to grow well into 2021 and Catch is well-positioned to capture an increased share.

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About the Author: Ally Feiam

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