Black Friday Losing Stranglehold on Sales; Millennials Giving Mobile the Cold Shoulder

RetailTechNews’ weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world. In this week’s edition: Black Friday Losing Stranglehold on Sales; Millennials Giving Mobile the Cold Shoulder; and Christmas in August.

Black Friday Losing Stranglehold on Sales

Despite increasing hype, consumers are not holding out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as much as in previous years, new research from CJ Affiliate has revealed.

The study shows that the beginning of November experienced increases in its share of holiday revenue and double-digit growth, particularly in the second week of November, where year-on-year order growth increased by almost a third (29%).

The share of revenue for the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, on the other hand, decreased from 2016 to 2017. These weeks saw the least amount of growth for the whole of the nine-week holiday season – year-on-year order growth was only 14%.

While some consumers are starting their shopping earlier, others are waiting until just before Christmas to complete their purchases. The new study revealed that the third week of December accounted for the greatest increase in converted sales, alongside the second week in November, showing a split in consumers between last-minute panic buyers and those who favour ‘planned buying’. Conversion rates for both of these weeks increased by 18%, with the third week of December also witnessing year-on-year order growth of 29%.

Millennials Giving Mobile the Cold Shoulder

Older teens and young adults aren’t as reliant on mobile as you might think. According to a UNiDAYS and Ad Age joint survey. This study shows that only 10% of this group watch streaming TV on their mobile devices.

These consumers aren’t avid users of transactional m-commerce either. When asked which shopping-related activities they conducted via smartphone, the leading answer was browsing (64%). A majority (59%) performed price comparisons, read product reviews (58%) and checked product availability (52%), while 46% looked for store locations.

As far as digital buying was concerned, 22% preferred using a mobile website and 15% a mobile app. Most, however, preferred making purchases on a desktop or laptop (60%).

That close to half of Gen Z said they used mobile to look up store locations is telling. A survey by IBM Institute of Business Value and the National Retail Federation of Gen Z (ages 13-21) worldwide found that three times as many shop in-store most of the time compared to online (66% vs 22%) and 98% shopped in-store at least some of the time. More than half (52%) had never used a mobile app to buy something.

Christmas in August

Nearly half (48%) of shoppers have already started buying presents for the holidays, according to Rakuten Marketing.

Gift shopping is now very much a borderless activity, with Europe being the most popular choice for international customers (40%). With 57% of Singapore-based shoppers looking to buy gifts from the U.S., and 66% of China-based shoppers keen to buy gifts from Europe, marketers in these regions must be acutely aware of the need to engage with audiences with distinct languages and channel preferences.

This is especially valuable when we know that consumers from these markets are looking to part with more money when gift buying. When purchasing for partners, Chinese shoppers will spend on average 193% more than their British counterparts.

By comparison, two-thirds (66%) of U.S. gift shoppers are solely focused on buying from within the U.S. A behaviour also found among the +65s globally (67%), perhaps suggesting ties to more cautious assumptions.

Marketers must be wary of making assumptions about consumers or risk missing out on key sales opportunities altogether. For example, 52% of respondents in China focus their gift buying on Amazon Prime Day, nearly twice the proportion of U.S. consumers capitalising on the early opportunity for discounted items.

Influencer marketing may be subject to questions in Western markets in terms of measuring ROI, but it is an essential route to market in APAC. A fifth of Korean and a quarter of Singaporean shoppers state that influencer videos provide the best deals and this rises to as much as 30% in China.