Click Monday in New Zealand has come and gone, and now it’s 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 ClickMonday.co.nz. We are talking about two 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 marketplace where retailers present their offers on a website, then consumers head to the retailers site.
Global trends of Cyber Monday and Black Friday
More and more retailers in the US are doing it on their own and not leveraging the “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” brands, their marketing engine, and database. Why? 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 in 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 shift their holiday promotions into swing by 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 Gray Friday; the big shopping day’s 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”.
If you were to go on to the Black Friday site right now you would see a section dedicated to “Pre Black Friday sales”. A long list of retailers promoting their sales already available to purchase.
It’s fair to say BlackFriday.com also sees the trend and is supporting retailers.
Though Cybermonday.com and Blackfriday.com as a business model appear to be doing very 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”
The realisation of a marketplace being a middle man is happening to 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?”.
Be a marketplace which adds value
The concept of a Marketplace is solid on the condition it adds value to the consumer buying/information gathering processes and is why Pricespy.co.nz is still popular today. The ability to compare prices of one product across many retailers is very much a part of everyone’s purchasing process.
Pricespy continues to deliver value, this time in the context of Black Friday. This email came through today (Black Friday):
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 to capitalise, retailers need to be visible in Google. Think about what you do when you want to purchase something. What is the first thing you do? Head to Google.
Check out these Google search volumes by New Zealand consumers from the period of September 2013 through to December 2013:
“Cyber Monday” – 39,380 searches
“Black Friday” – 48,930 searches
“Click Monday” – 96,320 searches
Imagine the impact on your business if you are on the first page of Google for these terms (assuming you had great offers).
When considering the retail sales statistics for Black Friday and Cyber Monday spanning on average a 30 day cycle along with the local Google search volumes, a one day event driven by a marketplace is redundant.
Click Monday the marketplace 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, Click Monday the marketplace, will struggle. Judging by the standard of online retail marketing and acquisition activity of New Zealand retailers, Click Monday will be successful for a very long time.