The holidays: consumers aren’t waiting anymore. Are you ready?
Nowadays, the only people who excitingly wait for Christmas to come are children. Consumers are already taking action.
According to a study conducted by Retailmenot, a website that bundles up all the promotional offers from thousands of retailers across Canada and the US, Christmas sales began as early as November 1st last year. Not only that: half of the consumers expect to see offers starting in October. Google also says that 48% of consumers have completed their purchases before Cyber Monday, which falls on November 30th this year.
However, despite this new reality, Quebec retailers are not following. In its portrait of electronic commerce in Quebec, CEFRIO claims that only 14.5% of retailers sell their products online, with such sales representing 18.3% of their annual sales.
Yet, retailers’ online presence is their best defence against “showrooming,” which transforms retail locations into showrooms for Amazon and other online retail giants.
And the challenge is not merely technological. When asked what their biggest challenges might be for the next three years, 59% of Quebec online retailers cited marketing, whereas only 25% mentioned technology.
Marketing and advertising play a crucial role, both for the retention of existing consumers versus online retailers and for the acquisition of new ones once the shift has been made.
Given the fact that television did not kill radio and that Internet did not replace television, onsite retail will always have its place. But which one? According to emarketer, the traffic in American shopping centres has dropped 7% in December compared to the previous year. A new balance is being created right now, but no one knows what shape it might take.
There used to be a time when, in high season, consumers would line up to get into stores. If you’re a retailer, it’s now your turn to do so if you wish to keep your client base!