Click Monday in New Zealand has come and gone, and now its time to count the dollars and measure up against the costs to deliver the campaign. How did retailers go? Was it a success?
While you ponder your ROI, the question should be asked....where is this “Click Monday” phenomenon going and is it actually here to stay?
The “Day” vs the Marketplace
First, let’s clarify the distinction between the Click Monday “Day”, and the marketplace/site ClickMonday.co.nz. They are two very different things.
In New Zealand Click Monday the "Day" is beginning to build momentum. In the US, Cyber Monday and Black Friday has now become the in-store “Boxing Day Sale” equivalent. A digital retail phenomenon.
ClickMonday.co.nz is like CyberMonday.com and BlackFriday.com in that it is a site where retailers present their offers in the form of banner content. If a consumer sees an offer of interest, they click on the banner and are then sent back to the retailer's site.
Global trends of the Cyber Monday and Black Friday phenomemon
More and more retailers in the US are doing it on their own and not leveraging the “Cyber Monday” and "Black Friday" sites.
By doing it on their own, US retailers build on the one day event and extend the offer to their own liking.
comScore reported online retail sales on Cyber Monday 2013 topped $1.735 billion, up 18% from 2012. But this was not the biggest revenue driver for retailers during this time period. The four days leading up to Cyber Monday generated $5.3 billion.
comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni says, “We see evidence of early promotions pulling dollars forward into the weekend, Cyber Monday could have been stronger were it not for the emergence of this one day trend”.
Black Friday is old news according to Kenshoo, finding US shoppers start hunting for deals long before Thanksgiving, meaning retailers activate their holiday promotions November 1st.
“Retailers stretched Black Friday deals and promotions across November—removing the focus from one big day of shopping," reports Shopper Trak's founder Bill Martin.
Data from Experian and IMRG suggests the key peaks for pre-Christmas online shopping include Cyber Monday (the first Monday in December) and “Manic Monday” (the second Monday in December).
It’s predicted Manic Monday will see £676.5m in online sales compared to £649.6m on Cyber Monday and £555.5m on Black Friday.
Consumers are in control
Consumers are beginning to respond negatively to “retail bullying” tactics in particular around on one day promotion events.
Beth Thomas, Google’s Retail Industry Development Manager states, "Last holiday season (2013), Black Friday transformed into Grey Friday; the big shopping days sales were diluted as retailers began their promotions and deals early".
Beth goes on to say, "Consequently, we are starting to see a shift away from 'tentpole' events such as Black Friday".
Black Friday seems to be in support of this trend by dedicating a section of their site to “Pre Black Friday sales”.
Though Cybermonday.com and Blackfriday.com as a business model appear to be doing well at present, there will come a time where they will be considered a “middle man” by retailers, who no longer add value.
The most recent "middle-man"
An example of a middle-man business model now struggling are flash sale sites in the US. This from Forrester research:
“Groupon (the largest US flash sale site) suffered a combined $95.3 million in net losses between Q4 2012 and Q3 2013, and incurred a whopping $81.1 million in loss during Q4 2012 alone.”
LivingSocial (second largest US flash sale site) posted a net loss of $183 million in 2013 and is now branching away from its daily deal model and looking to evolve into a marketing solution for retailers.
Retailers in the US are right in their thinking, "Why would I build your brand (flash sale site) when I can build my own".
Where is this “Click Monday” phenomenon going and is it actually here to stay?
“Click Monday” as a retail phenomenon, will continue to grow and gain momentum, only because major retailers in New Zealand will build the hype and deliver the offers.
Head over to Harvey Norman right now and you will see their “Black Friday” promotion (this promotion has also been featured on TV commercials recently).
Another great reason to have a sale:) Joking aside, it will be the large retailers with the big marketing budgets who will build the hype for everyone.
Retailers don't need to be on a marketplace/site to capitalise, retailers need to be visible in Google and across other relevant digital touchpoints.
Focussing on Google alone is a good start. Google search data in New Zealand from September 2013 through to December 2013 shows the size of the opportunity if leveraged strategically:
- "Cyber Monday" - 39,380 searches
- "Black Friday" - 48,930 searches
When taking into consideration the search volume (above) along with the sales data showing consumer buying patterns leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a one day event, driven by a marketplace/site, is redundant.
Click Monday the site has a chance to be successful not because it’s adding value, but purely due to the naivety of NZ Retailers.
Once retailers understand they can do it themselves and be more strategic in leveraging this retail phenomenon, Click Monday the marketplace/site, will struggle to survive.