Sales events now rivalling Christmas for last mile movements

New research reveals one in two Australians use sales events to stock up on Christmas gifts.

Consumer habits regarding the October to Christmas peak period for parcel volumes is undergoing a seismic change according to parcel delivery specialist CouriersPlease.

The company now expects its largest spike in volumes to take place in the second half of November following the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales.

These changes in the buying habits of consumers have been reflected in a new survey that suggests events like mid-season sales are increasingly being used for end-of-year gift giving.

The findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 1007 Australian online shoppers, commissioned by the courier company.

According to survey results, 52 per cent of respondents use sales events to do their Christmas shopping, with the highest proportion among under-50s (65 per cent of all under-50s) and women (56 per cent of all women).

Last year, Australians spent $8 billion during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales period, a significant increase on previous years suggesting it continues to be the shopping event Aussies gravitate towards to snap up a bargain.

This was backed by the survey results, which found the largest proportion of consumers (26 per cent) shop at the Black Friday sales.

A relatively high proportion of respondents also revealed they spend big during seasonal sales events.

Specifically, an equal 19 per cent said they spend the most during end-of-season and end-of-financial year sales, and 7 per cent spend the most at mid-season sales.

Just 17 per cent said they spend the most at Boxing Day sales – traditionally the biggest sales event of the year.

CouriersPlease also asked respondents which sales event offers the deepest discounts.

Black Friday topped the list, with 30 per cent saying the event offers the best bang for their buck. One fifth (21 per cent) of respondents think the best discounts can be found at the Boxing Day sales, while 18 per cent stand by EOFY sales, and 14 per cent believe end-of-season sales get them the best discounts.

“An increasing number of savvy retailers are recognising that Black Friday is the sales event of the year, motivating many to start their sales event earlier and end it later to nab a share of the shopper market,” said CouriersPlease CEO Richard Thame.

“Our research shows that shoppers spend more at sales events that offer the deepest discounts,” he said.

August this year marked the 18th consecutive month of steady growth in household spending, with significant increases occurring across discretionary goods such as clothing and footwear.

Australians, however, may be prepared to continue spending strongly this Black Friday sales period, even in a climate of high inflation and increasing interest rates.

Despite cost-of-living pressures, consumer spending, Thame pointed out, is on the rise.

“While retailers have been preparing for a spike in Black Friday orders, it could be a good idea to roll out different offers in the lead-up to the event or start the event early to create an even flow of customers and keep up with orders,” he said.

To combat any potential customer issues, Thame said retailers should partner with a parcel delivery provider that has a Black Friday sales strategy and a strong track record of efficient, on-time deliveries.

“CouriersPlease, for instance, has planned for the event months in advance, onboarding additional delivery drivers, opening a new depot in the Gold Coast this month, and further streamlining its processes and technologies,” he said.

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