How has your shopping experience been during the 2018 Holiday period? There are many shoppers who love the lights and the joy of shopping when so many people are also out buying presents – although some find the bustle all too much. What are some retailers doing to ensure that shoppers enjoy this Holiday season?
To start with it’s worth noting that the Holiday shopping season in Asia is getting longer. In markets such as Europe and the US, the focus has traditionally just been on Christmas and the New Year. This has been extended somewhat by the growth in popularity of Black Friday, but in Asia the season gets going with Singles Day on November 11 and continues through the New Year to the Chinese Lunar New Year, which will be on February 5 next year.
Locations such as Singapore and Hong Kong have really focused on making it easy for non-resident shoppers to claim back their sales tax, creating a strong focus on duty free shopping at this time of year. By making it easy to claim back the sales tax these locations are really stimulating a wave of travelling shoppers.
Australia sees a huge wave of customers taking out new credit cards and transferring their balance from other cards in January. According to research by AMP over two thirds of Australians experience some regret about the amount they spend at Christmas. It’s good news for the credit card industry though – last year Aussies racked up A$29bn (USD $20.5bn) just in Christmas spending alone.
In fact, the retail market in Australia is looking healthy this Christmas. New research from Deloitte has some very interesting findings, such as:
- 80% of retailers expect to see higher sales this Christmas compared to last year, with 41% predicting growth of 5% or more
- Online is set to be a key battlefield this Christmas, with 79% of survey respondents expecting to experience growth of 10% or more in online Christmas sales
- With a further 12 months of trading under its belt, the presence of Amazon in Australia hasn’t seemed to faze Australian retailers, with 83% predicting Amazon will have no impact on their Christmas trading performance
- There is a continued shift in strategic thinking, with customer and omni-channel being the key strategic priorities for two thirds of survey respondents
- “Responsible retailing” is also becoming a key strategic focus for many retailers as customers are voting with their wallets and demanding products from companies that align to their own cultural values and beliefs.
But it is clearly important for retailers to create a memorable and fun experience during this shopping season. The Landmark Atrium mall in Hong Kong is a great example. Over 70 cocoa monsters have taken over the mall, even installing a river of chocolate and cocoa forest. The monsters are spending time inside the over 200 retailers inside the mall creating memories and experiences for children and their parents – it’s a great example of a mall working in partnership with all the retailers inside their property to focus on creating a Holiday experience.
There is a wave of initiatives like this across the Asia Pacific region at present. Let me know what you have seen during your own Holiday shopping? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.