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    Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: H is for Holiday Sales

    To wrap up 2023, Mediaweek is looking at the biggest trends, events, platforms, and brands of the year. Welcome to Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023 … and beyond.

    By Darren Woolley, global CEO of TrinityP3, marketing/agency editor at large at Mediaweek

    There was a time when the holiday retail sales were Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, EOFY Stocktake and Boxing Day. These can be categorised into two groups – the gift giving event, driven by gift ideas and inspiration. These holiday sales are best classified by the first four on the list and are often represented with creative promotion that goes to the sentimental meaning of the event, without a price point or BYGOF to be seen. 

    This year, we can see this approach with retailers like Myer, Big W, Aldi, Woolworths, Coles, Michael Hill Jewellers and even Telstra all joining in the advertising celebration.

    The other sales events are the clearance sales with a “stack ‘em high and watch ‘em fly out the door” delivering a retail revenue driver. The creative approach here is the hurry, hurry, for the crazy, crazy prices, tapping into customer FOMO

    Boxing Day is a particular special example of this retail event with media coverage of shoppers lined up, outside the store doors on Boxing Day morning, waiting for the start of the mad rush to get the limited discounts inside.

    The creative approach is loud, repetitive, and filled with discounts and price off savings, delivered with the urgency that is a cross between the circus and a zombie apocalypse.

    But it appears these pillars of retail events have been superseded by a relative newcomer to the holiday sales in Australia – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While technically not a holiday here, Black Friday and it’s younger sibling, Cyber Monday have their genesis as a long shopping weekend following the US Thanksgiving Day, traditionally on fourth Thursday in November. 

    Back in 2014, Apple introduced the concept to the Australian market, and very quickly it has been embraced by retailers and shoppers alike. This year, Australian shoppers spent more than $8.7 billion on Black Friday sales, up 22% on 2022, according to NAB transaction data. And not just online, with brick and mortar increasing store-traffic and a significant share of the spend.

    With shoppers increasingly using the Black Friday to do their Christmas shopping and pick up a bargain, it will be interesting to see how much impact this year’s record Black Friday spend will have on the Boxing Day Sales results, reported last year to be $23.5 billion according to Australian Retailer Association. Time will tell if we have managed to train our customers to wait for the almost endless opportunities to shop at a discount. 

    With up to 50% off and more in the offering, financially savvy Australian shoppers are increasingly delaying gratification for that shopping windfall. While many in business look longingly at the revenue growth, marketers should be focused on the profit, because while sales are often measured against volume and top-line growth, marketing and brand building is also about building and maintaining margins. After all, any fool can sell to break-even or worse, but it takes skill to create and maintain a healthy margin. Particularly when the economy is struggling.

    See also: Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: G is for Gaming

    Top Image: Darren Woolley

    The post Mediaweek’s A to Z of 2023: H is for Holiday Sales appeared first on Mediaweek.

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