How to Make the Most of Public Holiday Trends on eCommerce Sites

Written on 05 March, 2018 by Julia Hammond
Categories E-commerce

eCommerce businesses rely on web traffic crossing their site to make conversions. That’s not rocket science, but what people don’t often recognise are the buying trends that occur over public holidays. This information is important not just in planning out your 2018 sales calendar, but for your SEO and PPC strategies. With Labour Day approaching, we thought we’d take a timely look into the effect public holidays have on our national eCommerce spend.

Fierce Stats

Let’s start with what we know.

Fact: $21.65 billion of the Australian economy is spent on online shopping, including both physical and digital products (like video and music streaming).

Fact: In 2016, online shopping increased by 10.2%, compared to a mere 3.3% escalation in spend at brick and mortar stores.

From these statistics we can conclude two hard truths: the online marketplace is starting to overtake conventional retail purchasing habits and, with so much coin spilled online, there are endless opportunities for eCommerce stores to take a bite of the pie.

What’s driving online shopping?

With billions of people so comfortable and set in their ways pre-internet, what has caused shoppers to take their business online? The fast-paced lifestyle of the everyday consumers renders many heavily time poor. Online shopping appeals to so many as it allows consumers the flexibility to shop at any time of the day or night, when it suits them best. It also gives those living in more remote locations the best chance to find and obtain items that may not be offered in their local area.

They say variety is the spice of life – and it’s proven so with online shopping. The internet is infinite and, with that vastness, comes a much wider range of products, all available for comparison and purchase in one place. This is yet another reason why consumers flock to ‘www.’ locations.

That said, online shopping isn’t just convenient, it’s cheaper for consumers too! Think about it, if you run a business purely online, there are no overhead costs to cover; no rent to pay, minimal staff on your books and no store or showroom to fit out. If it costs the vendor less to sell their products, they can afford to knock a bit off the price to undercut their competitors in store.

Who’s winning the race: mobile or desktop?

29% of online purchases are made between 7–10pm, so while most online shopping is still carried out on desktop computers or laptops, mobile devices are moving in, with a 52% increase in mobile purchases year on year. This tells us that shoppers are enjoying the convenience of “anytime, anywhere” provided by portable devices.

What does all this mean for brick and mortar stores?

It would be crazy to deny the impact of online shopping on traditional retail businesses. The appeal of tangible products that you can touch and try in store prior to making a purchase will likely never cease. However, the opportunities and perks of buying over the internet have given online shopping the boost that enabled web to outperform physical stores by 6.9% when it came to growth in sales.

Retailers who have invested in digital development and the modernisation of their business online are seeing great results, as the power balance of retail versus online continues to shift. If you haven’t already built an online presence for your brick and mortar store, now is the time to do so. Chat to one of our web development team today to see how we can transform the future of your business.

Public Holidays Are an Opportunity

Online shoppers are notoriously driven by wants rather than needs, so spontaneity is a significant element of online buyer behaviour. With that in mind, holiday sales and deals appeal greatly to this audience as they play on the consumer’s desire, coaxing them with incentive to make a purchase.

There is a strong relationship between public holidays and buyer behaviour. Public holidays often inspire online shopping events and sales and, with 8 National holidays in Australia and 13 public holidays in Victoria alone, there is huge potential for web vendors to capitalise on these occasions when buyers are relaxed yet engaged.

Online shopping has been instrumental in increasing consumer engagement with major holiday sales but, much like traditional retails stores, eCommerce stores experience seasonal dips and surges, peaks and troughs. These are ever-clear in the eCommerce statistics surrounding public holidays.

Capitalise on Increased Online Traffic

The online stores who perform the best on public holidays are the ones that are most well prepared for the local calendar, tailoring their shopping events to their audience and making the most of the vacation vibe that a public holiday provides.

There are a number of ways you can enhance your digital marketing strategy around public holidays to capitalise on the relaxed, nature of the spontaneous buyer.

Optimise for Mobile

The first tip is a given. Buyer behaviour stats recognise that mobile devices are a significant contributor to online sales. In order to maximise conversions over public holidays, it’s vital to ensure that purchases are made easy for customers using smartphones or tablets to find and buy your products.

Recognise the Vacation

Whether it’s the school holidays, or a much shorter break (like a long weekend), many consumers take the time off to catch up on the shopping they don’t get around to during the work week. Attracting customers with a holiday-branded sale or promotion is not just a great way to draw them in, it is probably the best way to do so.

Holiday-Related SEO Keywords

SEO is integral to any online marketing strategy and, by selecting and optimising your site for holiday-specific keywords, you can encourage more traffic to cross your site when it counts. Chat to one of our Digital Strategists today to see how Webcentral can help you optimise your page for local and national holidays and shopping events.

Target Relevant PPC Search Terms

You can also inflate your web traffic stats and be seen instantly with PPC advertising. By including search terms relevant to the public holiday along with sale terminology, you will reach a highly-targeted and qualified group of potential customers and improve your chances of convincing them to make a purchase. Our PPC experts can help you put together a winning search engine advertisement, while increasing web traffic and reducing your cost per conversion. Chat to a specialist today!

Make Your User Experience Simple and Seamless

By giving your consumers the easiest possible route to the information or products they’re after, you’ll maximise the chance of making a conversion. Predictive autofill technology is a great way to make life easier for your customers but, if spiffy features aren’t in your budget, ensuring your sitemap is clear and the customer journey is smooth will take the trouble out of making a purchase through your site and make it harder for leads to stray before completing a transaction.

Online consumers purchase on the web for convenience, so make sure your site is accessible and makes it as simple as possible for your visitors to slide down the sales funnel and exit your site as an active customer.

The Bottom Line?

Buyers love a bargain, so why not hit them with a great deal when they’re relaxed and engaged across the upcoming public holidays and see how your eCommerce stats soar? Ensure your site is up to scratch in the lead up and you’ll enjoy the benefits of this effective digital marketing tactic.

For more information on how to best reach your audience this long weekend, get in touch with us today on 1300 638 734 or via out contact form.

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