Is Click Monday here to stay?

Can our ‘Click Monday’ become as big as Cyber Monday is for the US, UK, Canada and Germany some ask? Some will say yes, others that our 1.7 million online shoppers today will prefer to venture in to their local Bricks-and-Mortar stores to get their deals.

The question that may need to be answered is not necessarily whether consumers will engage with Click Monday (considering we have the highest internet-penetration in the world at 95%), but whether Cyber Monday/Click Monday and Black Friday can continue to attract the same excitement and purchasing involvement as the Black Friday of previous years.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have seen record growth since it took off properly in 2003 and 2005 respectively. Each year has seen incremental growth with 2013 increasing again but by only 3% overall from 2012 within the four categories; Apparel, Home Goods, Health & Beauty and Department Stores. Over the lifetime of the event we have seen a behaviour shift with technology playing a key role. Bricks-and-Mortar offers have moved to an online environment with the one day Cyber Monday now accounting for 14% of total sales.

In the last two years we’re seeing engagement via mobile devices additionally showing yet another shift in behaviour as 32% of all online visits coming from Mobile (45% increase from last year). Outside of this consumer shift, we’re now seeing retailers change their own timings and approach of their offers, which could potentially mean the slow demise of the event as a whole.

Retailers around the globe have sat up and taken notice of this retail phenomenon as $57.4 billion USD changed hands in the weekend of Thanksgivings 2013.  In the US we’re seeing a fight to grab wallets before the competition. This fight has manifested itself in opening of doors and offers on the day prior to Black Friday as well as extending offers through ‘click and collect’ which would normally be on limited stock to reduce the stampede of consumers seen previously. Cyber Monday has also been altered, with offers now stretching out to what some are calling Cyber Week.

In New Zealand we’re seeing similar alterations. Although the original single day model has proven successful in the US and now other countries, we’ve got a variety of events surfacing in and around our own Click Monday. In 2013 The Warehouse Group tested (with great success) their own single day event ‘Click Madness’, and NZSale offered their own version ‘Flash Frenzy’.

These changes and additional versions of the dedicated one day event may see our shoppers become confused and or worse, train them to expect deals and discounts as a matter of course. Click Monday/Black Friday could potentially become a non-event and increase possible erosion to margin for retailers as a whole.

It’s hard to say one way or another as we in New Zealand are in the infancy of this retail extravaganza however one thing is clear, that mobile transactions are on the rise and consumers are proving to look for discounts and deals before parting ways with their hard-earned cash.

So, if our retailing practitioners were able to create a single day event with a tailored online experience covering a wide selection of truly discounted deals, we are likely to instil a retail shopping date which consumers will recognise and remember. By doing so Retailers could possibly prevent an audience becoming trained for discount shopping only and minimise the chance of a non-event occurring.

Author: Colin Rebairo, Senior Digital Strategist @ .99