New online retail data offers some first-time insights into exactly where and when Australian consumers can get the best value on a wide range of everyday purchases during this year’s peak retail season.
Derived from analysis of the spending habits of hundreds of thousands of Australians and more than a thousand retailers, including major local and global names, the data was released today by Australian company, Cashrewards. Cashrewards currently initiates more than $500 million, or 2% of Australians’ total online shopping spend, annually.
“Using accumulated data from the past three years, heading into our fourth peak season we’re confident we can guide shoppers toward the best bargains and biggest savings on everything from fashion and food to tech and travel,” said Andrew Clarke, CEO and founder of Cashrewards.
Mr Clarke explained that peak retail season runs from November through to 15 January. He also said the Cashrewards data pointed to significant changes in retail trends and buying patterns over recent years.
“We’re now seeing surges in retail activity that are no longer tied quite so closely to traditional buying moments like Christmas and Boxing Day,” he said. “The impact of globalisation, tech and multiculturalism is combining to ramp up shopping activity at other times as well. For example, we’re seeing year-on-year increases in activity from both retailers and consumers on other days, such as ‘Black Friday’.”
Black Friday is the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday. It has been traditionally associated with massive retail sales in the vein of Australia’s Boxing Day. It is followed by Cyber Monday, a more recent phenomenon marked by intense online activity. Mr Clarke says there is lower interest from retailers discounting for Cyber Monday this year.
However, according to Mr Clarke, another major shopping day has now outstripped all the other days combined. It is ‘Singles Day’, China’s biggest shopping event of the year, so dubbed because the date on which it falls, “11.11” looks like four ‘single’ sticks. Last Single’s Day $17.7 billion was spent online globally, compared with $5.2 billion over the US Thanksgiving long weekend. Estimates of total expenditure in Australia’s Boxing Day sales for 2016 approach $3 billion.
What does this mean for Australian consumers? Potentially, a lot. “We’re seeing more and more retailers getting front and centre with discounts and deals to take advantage of increased retail traffic at times they know more people are likely to be shopping,” said Mr Clarke. “So if you’re a shopper looking for the best value, knowing when and where those deals are going to come up puts you ahead of the game. Smart shoppers can save hundreds, even thousands, simply by buying in the right place, at the right time.”
To support shoppers in gaining this information, Cashrewards has produced the Cashrewards Smart Shoppers’ Guide (see attached and following).
Further, said Mr Clarke, if people shop online through Cashrewards, they can double or even triple dip on the savings and benefits on offer.
“Our members simply click through our site to shop through their usual online retailer, be it Woolies or Apple or Asos or to book flights or accommodation. Basically, you name it, we have 1200-plus retail partners.
We then give members a percentage of every dollar they spend, in cash, into their bank accounts,” he explained.
“If they shop on a special deal day, that means they get the benefit of cash back from us, plus the discount from getting the inside tip on the deal plus, if they’re already a loyalty member of the retailer where they’re shopping – say on Virgin, or Emirates, for example – they also earn points for the dollars they spend there.”
Mr Clarke concluded by urging shoppers to spend just a few minutes researching the best time to buy, preferably using Cashrewards.
“It’s not often you get such a clear win/win/win situation. But this is one of them. And at Cashrewards we’ve reinforced the win factor even more by joining the 1% Pledge, a philanthropic initiative that sees us donating 1% of our spend, 1% of our time and 1% of our equity to our chosen charity, The Starlight Children’s Foundation.”
SPENDING & SAVING FACTS: AUSTRALIA’S SHOPPING WINNERS & LOSERS
According ABS data, Australians spent more than $46 billion between mid November and the end of December 2016. Based on the experience of previous years, this number is likely to increase in 2017.
Of these dollars spent, millions will be lost due to simple lack of awareness about where to get the best buys, what are the best days to shop … and how to go about it.
In fact, cumulative annual “losses” for Australians who do not shop through Cashrewards have been calculated at:
- $136,000 an hour
- $3,287,671 a day
- $23 million a week
- $1.19 billion a year
Conversely, Cashrewards’ most loyal members receive between $580 and $1847 in their accounts each year, while the average annual cashback amount is $250. Some members have tens of thousands of dollars in their accounts.