Stay ahead of the competition: Start planning for the 2023 sales events

It’s no secret that Australians love shopping at key sales events. With inflation rising and costs of goods increasing, money-smart Aussies are likely already planning to line up products to purchase during Click Frenzy Mayhem and the end of season sales.

Why it is crucial to get on the drawing board early

Aussies have been treated to a range of sales in the last couple of months including Black Friday, which has become the most popular sales event in the country. In 2022 there was 239% increase in online transactions during Australia’s Black Friday event compared to average in October 2021 – a spike from 2021 levels. With financial pressures beginning to impact consumers, we are bound to see increased interest in sales events continue in 2023.

For consumers, sales shopping is often more planned than you might think. Data from Criteo shows that savvy Aussie shoppers take more time in the consideration stage than those in the US and UK. On average an Aussie shopper takes 19 days (compared to 16 in the UK).

But it’s not just consumers who should be planning for this, it’s important for businesses to prepare early and map out how to target consumers during their peak consideration phase ahead of the sales events. Standing out in an immense stream of online marketing noise can be a challenge, but there are smart ways to lock in customers early on their journey.

How can businesses tip the scales in their favor?

Marketing strategy needs to be personal, targeted and engaging. With the help of Commerce Media, businesses can activate their first-party data and inventory, and package it for advertisers to drive positive commerce outcomes. There are three main considerations that businesses can leverage to develop a strong marketing strategy for sales events this year.

Plan well ahead of time

We know that shoppers are planning early, so how do you ensure your brand or product is top of their list and in the basket ready for sales day? You need to target these consumers early in their consideration phase ahead of the event. Consumers need to know what you have on offer, what the discounts will look like and the timings of your sales.

Start by setting your key audience in the weeks leading up to the event through Commerce Media, leveraging commerce data and AI to understand their shopping interests and intent. Better still, provide a ‘wish list’ option on your website, so shoppers can research and plan, easily access information and then complete the purchase with a simple click on sales day.

Product recommendations no longer rely on best sellers

Discovery commerce is becoming ever more prominent with the rise in personalised product recommendations. No longer based purely on best sellers, now they are looking at consumer intent signals to determine the items each shopper is most likely to select.

As consumers surf for bargains during sales events, guiding them towards other products of interest is a great way to increase cart value. Not only will consumers see products related to the items they are browsing, but through AI, they will see ads that go beyond these options. Think ads about sneakers while browsing golf clubs – while not directly connected, the AI engine behind these ad placements understands that the consumer is interested in them too.

Consumers need time to consider

Though many are planning their purchases in advance, we are also seeing Aussies who want to continue researching during the events. Criteo study from Click Frenzy Mayhem 2022 found that there is longer consideration for home goods compared to other categories.

Though sales almost doubled over the three-day event, it was interesting to note that most sales were made on the last day. Partnering with a specialist like Criteo with our Commerce Media Platform can unlock valuable insights to support a full-funnel approach to your marketing and sales strategy and drive meaningful commerce outcomes.

Tapping into machine learning enables you to deliver the right message, in the right format, at the right time throughout the customer journey As Commerce Media brings richer online experiences to every consumer that they control with reliable marketers and media owners, your engagement will always be on point, helping to build trust and strengthen relationships.

With consumers moving their focus to sales events, retailers need to find the right tech partner to help them drive awareness, consideration and conversions when it matters most. Tools such as the Commerce Media Platform are here to elevate a business’ marketing strategy and maximise sales opportunities during the all-important key sale events.

Colin Barnard is the Managing Director ANZ at Criteo.