LDN's sister company Salmat, partnered with ACRS to investigate how shoppers prepare for, and purchase during the EOFY period. Here’s what your brand should consider.
Sales are a far more civilised affair these days. Gone are the days of people scrambling to be the first through the doors of the local department store on opening day. Today, shoppers have the choice of braving the crowds in-store or going online for their bargains.
In fact, instore and online sale events are driving retail sales, according to Inside Australian Online Shopping 2017. In Australia, there are events such as Vogue Night Out where promotions are run across major shopping districts and then there are the increasingly popular Black Friday-style shopping events.
But how do shoppers approach EOFY sales in the omnichannel age?
To find out, we partnered with the acclaimed Australian Consumer, Retail, and Services (ACRS) Research Unit. Positioned within the Monash Business School's Department of Marketing, ACRS has a 35-year history as a globally respected source of retail, services, consumer and marketing knowledge.
Their ACRS Omnibus tracker is a quarterly tracking study of consumers’ multichannel preferences and behaviour, based on an online survey of 500 Australian shoppers. We included a series of questions in the survey. Our goal? To identify the who, what, where and when of EOFY sales.
In real terms, this means identifying:
Who: Which demographics are more likely to go EOFY sale shopping?
What: What products are these shoppers interested in buying in the sales?
Where: Where are sales shoppers finding their information and purchasing?
When: When do shoppers start researching for the EOFY sales?
Let’s take a look in a bit more detail.
Of those surveyed, 20 per cent said they plan to purchase something in the EOFY sales this year. Just under half (46%) of shoppers indicated they may purchase something, while a further 13% didn’t know yet.
This is a sizeable chunk of potential shoppers.
But who are these deal seekers? Well, banish the stereotypical idea of a sale shopper from your head. Our research discovered that shoppers of all income levels are keen to get a deal. In fact, shoppers in the $100k to $149k income bracket were the most inclined towards getting a deal, while those earning less than $39,999 per year were the least inclined.
The more money shoppers have, the more careful they are with how they spend it, it would seem.
Clothing retailers have jumped on the opportunities created by the plethora of landmark sales days that have entered the lexicon in recent years with the advent of eCommerce, from Black Friday, Cyber Monday to Blue Monday.
However, EOFY sales can be strong tool for retailers across all categories.
From our research, we found that there is a strong focus on purchasing items for the home, with home appliances (37%) and furniture/homewares (35%) being the two most popular categories shoppers were planning to purchase in the upcoming 2018 EOFY sales. These are the kind of big ticket items that can be heavily discounted in the sales and so are more justifiable purchases during the sales.
At the other end of the spectrum, shoppers were least interested in purchasing automotive items (9%) and holidays (11%) in the EOFY sales.
So, retailers of all types should consider how they can get the best out of the EOFY sales.
With the growing investment by Aussie and international retailers in eCommerce channels, there is now much more choice for shoppers during the EOFY sale period. An equal number of EOFY shoppers (35%) preferred to browse and buy in-store, or browse online and buy in-store.
However, few EOFY shoppers (7%) prefer to browse in-store and buy online. Once shoppers are in the store, they want to purchase. If stock is an issue, it is worth considering the idea of the endless aisle whereby retailers train staff to help shoppers purchase online if their item is out of stock in store, but available online.
Of those shoppers that are browsing online, the majority (61%) were most likely to use a computer or laptop. Followed by 26% who use a mobile phone and 13% who use mobile.
The most popular channels to research and plan EOFY shopping were internet search (42%), online stores (41%) and in-store (36%). Followed closely by online catalogues (31%) and letterbox catalogues (30%).
The shop window element of eCommerce websites is often overlooked. Even if a shopper ends up purchasing in store, a lot of the time they have checked the item out online beforehand. Consider the Ikea model, for example, shoppers can view the items in the catalogue or online beforehand, but have to go in-store to view, test and measure – however even IKEA has the facility to purchase online now.
The majority of our respondents (60%) said that they plan their EOFY shopping in advance. So should retailers. But, when should retailers start promoting their EOFY sales? Our advice would be at least one week before as one third of our respondents said they do their planning in this week.
Just under a third of shoppers (29%) told us they make more impulsive purchases during EOFY sales. Purchases may be spontaneous, but campaigns are not. Consider the production timelines of your chosen channels to make sure your campaign aligns. This means preparing your campaign materials even further out.
So, to wrap up, what are our key takeaways:
Who: Everyone loves deals, but especially the higher salary bracket
What: If you’re in homewares, you should prioritise EOFY sales
Where: Have an online presence that shoppers can browse on mobile
When: Start promoting early, and ramp up in the week leading up to the sale
Find out more about how we can help you reach more customers call us on 1800 010 012.