On the eve of the world’s biggest online shopping festivals – Singles Day in China, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US and UK, what global trends are emerging that are being adopted by Australian retailers?
This morning’s panel at the Startrack Business Breakfast held at The Glasshouse in Melbourne, helped retailers shed some light on whether these huge shopping festivals are really driving results, or is it just hype?
This is the first year that beauty and cosmetics brand L’Oreal Australia says it will participate in a Black Friday event and Amanda Greene, the company’s head of e-commerce and CRM, says she’s pretty excited about it.
“This is the first year that we will participate in some of these Black Friday, Cyber Monday type events and I think it’s more from, yes a consumer expectation, but I think it’s also a business-led decision, with the publicity around that sales that you can get after the event, the opportunity is there,” explains Green. “Finally I’ve got business managers saying “Why aren’t we doing this?” and I’m like “Oh My God. I’ve been saying it for years.” ” So now Greene says that she’s finding more traction within the business when it comes to participating in online sales events, as well as that consumer expectation which is merging together, so this year L’Oreal will start to get that under its belt.
Traditionally, many Australian retailers and brands have been hesitant to become part of online sale events. Many factors could come into play, such as concerns around discounting or even money to be lost but Green says it could be more about concerns from a marketing perspective.
“I think it’s that understanding of strategy and not wanting to make the online channel ever appear like a discount channel and trying to make sure that the brand is always perceived as premium. Green says this may not necessarily be the right approach as there is a way retailers and brands can discount at certain times of the year without losing their premium stature. “It’s an understanding and the education process that a lot of Australian businesses are still working out.”