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Market Voice 7 Dec 2021 - 4 min read

Cyber weekend success – the difference between cream on the cake or coal under the tree

By Jo Gaines - Area Vice President, Digital 360, Salesforce Australia | Partner Content

Australians love a bargain and a cyber weekend shopping spree has shaped up to be a favourite of savvy shoppers.

Australians and Kiwis are world leaders in cyber weekend shopping. Not even the birthplace of Black Friday and Cyber Monday reached the heights of bargain hunting we did this year. Salesforce's Jo Gaines shares her top lessons from a weekend which either set retailers for a great end of year or have them chasing consumers into Christmas.

Australians love a bargain and a cyber weekend shopping spree has shaped up to be a favourite of savvy shoppers. Discounts offered by retailers from home and abroad and well publicised issues with supply chains have increased the incentive to get cash registers ringing in the run up to Christmas. 

So has this year lived up to the hype for retailers hoping for a pre-Christmas boost? There’s been mixed data on how brands have fared, with Commonwealth Bank declaring overall flat year-on-year growth. Salesforce analysed online data from over one billion shoppers on the Salesforce Customer 360 platform which revealed online spending grew 13 per cent year on year during cyber weekend in Australia and New Zealand, compared just four per cent in the USA and two per cent globally. 

The brands which set themselves up to deliver seamless, connected digital shopping experiences were the ones who captured the growth in cyber weekend spending. Our data also showed online order growth on digital devices up seven per cent year on year across ANZ. 

We’ve considered the winners this cyber weekend and based on where they’ve succeeded shared the three lessons we believe retailers should keep top of mind after they get through the holidays shopping rush and emerge into their next planning cycle.

Bring the best of in-store experiences online

Despite consumer concern about rising prices and shipping delays, they weren’t deterred during the cyber weekend with digital revenue growing and the average order value up year on year across ANZ. 

At the same time, customer expectations have never been greater and they want the best of in-store shopping to be available anytime, anywhere on any device. The smartest retailers will bring what shoppers love most about in-store experiences online and into the homes of their customers.  

Menswear-label Politix is a great example. It needed to find a way to improve the online experience for its customers who often prefer to head in-store to try-on its products and get the expertise of in-store staff. By using Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud it moved to a dynamic merchandising model, meaning it can create offers and product recommendations targeted to individual online customers. As a result, Politix’s online conversion rate doubled and revenue from online sales grew 149 per cent year on year. 

Show you know your customers 

The shift to online shopping is a further signal the habits consumers formed over the last two years are here to stay, with today’s customer expecting brands to understand their preferences and create content that’s relevant and unique to them. 

Powering those experiences requires collecting data at relevant touchpoints in a transparent and secure manner. This enables retailers to better understand their customers and deliver the right information and offers at the right time in the right context. While brands are well accustomed to capturing data, according to our research managing this data will become more complex with marketers expecting a 20 per cent increase in the number of data sources to over 12 in the year ahead.

To get the most out of their data and deal with this proliferation of sources, retail marketers need to create a single source of truth for every customer – giving employees access to all the relevant information they need about a customer or product at their fingertips when they need it.

Amart Furniture understands the potential complexity and has nailed making data work. Pre-pandemic many customers were reluctant to purchase online without the opportunity to touch and feel it, however squeezed around their old dining table in lockdown people became more adventurous. Amart needed to help its customers on their journey to the best dining experience they’ve ever had, regardless how their sourdough turned out.

Amart now uses Salesforce to access valuable customer insights helping to tailor conversations and serve up relevant recommendations to help customers on their journey. Product recommendations are provided to Amart customers while they search and next to their shopping cart online, which has led to conversion rates rising by 35 per cent.

Bricks and mortar is still at the centre of any hybrid approach

According to our holiday shopping insights, this year’s early and persistent supply chain issues meant digital shelves weren’t as well-stocked as in years past with the number of products being sold online during cyber weekend shrinking by five per cent globally.

To overcome the ongoing challenge of supply chain disruption into the new year, retailers need to create omni-channel experiences to provide opportunities for customers to discover new products, engage with the expertise of in-store staff, and fulfil online orders through click and collect. The retailers who create seamless and connected omni-channel experiences reduce the restrictions on how, when, and where a customer can shop.

Super Retail Group is one example of how brands who create seamless and connected experiences across channels can deliver great customer experiences. It established a contactless click and collect option for its customers shortly after the pandemic began, providing its customers with greater flexibility. The change contributed to a lift in online sales of 176 per cent for April and May in 2020 and it continues to benefit the business.  

It’s the brands who realised the pandemic accelerated the imperative to become closer to their customer, to close the gap between what they want and the experience on offer, who have thrived in this digital first world. Whether the cyber weekend was a cracker or a fizzer, you can deliver outstanding future growth for your business by putting the customer at the centre of everything you do.

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