Coronavirus has delivered the fastest, deepest economic shock in history, with retail flipped on its head, driven online, and gearing up for one of Australia’s largest online sales events: Click Frenzy ‘Mayhem’. However, retailers are uncertain as to what to expect from the 53-hour event this year. Will Click Frenzy have the same impact?

As Australia’s restrictions ease, shopping centers and stores around the country are starting to open their doors with shoppers expected to hit High Street in great numbers with cash in hand. Whether this will have an impact on Click Frenzy sales, it is uncertain. All we know is that even before the pandemic hit, major sales events were becoming increasingly ingrained in the Australian consumer psyche, you only have to look at China’s Singles Day, or Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US. This year will be no different, if not busier, in the same way that consumers are more engaged online than ever before.

From the level of traffic to the most popular shopping categories, here are my top predictions on what we can expect from Click Frenzy ‘Mayhem’ in 2020.

More capable consumers

Sales increased by more than 60% during Click Frenzy ‘Mayhem’ in 2019. Despite physical retail gradually opening around the nation, causing many to return to shopping in-store, we can expect Click Frenzy sales to ramp up even more this year with the pandemic making everyone shop online. With COVID-19 accelerating the growth of Australia’s ecommerce market, Click Frenzy is expected to reap the benefits of a more digitally literate consumer with many becoming more comfortable purchasing online over the course of the pandemic.

What the people want

Fashion (68%), health/beauty (43%) and sporting goods (35%), led the charge during Click Frenzy last year, and we expect these categories to also spike this year. Recent data by Criteo provides insights into what we can expect by showing the most popular shopping categories over the last couple weeks.

As Australians continue to be thrown out of their regular exercise regimes and with the opening of indoor gyms still a while away, we can expect sporting goods to spike, with sales in early May skyrocketing including exercise bands (340%) and fitness equipment (108%). Interestingly, outerwear increased by 350% just last week, as restrictions around public and indoor gatherings eased and as restaurants and cafes set to open this week. Health and beauty (86%) and cosmetics and beauty (92%) also rose last week, which may be a sign of people preparing to go back to work in the coming weeks or months. Consumer preferences may also slightly shift this year. Due to people’s lifestyles during lockdown, we may see spikes in slightly different categories like sleepwear, toys and games and arts and entertainment including musical instruments and gaming.

The retailer redemption

Given today’s tough financial times and uncertainty around consumer spending, it’s difficult to predict how many retailers will get involved this year. Many retailers may use it as an opportunity to get back some of the revenue they have lost from physical retail being shut, however it will depend on how digitally mature their business is. We can expect those with a strong online offering and profile across web, app, store and mobile, those who specialise in the above retail categories and those who push out relevant and considerate messaging (which is where AI-powered insights come in) will perform well.

For retailers to reap in the benefits of online sales events, they must start advertising their deals one to two weeks in advance and then heavily serve targeted ads to their customers at the right moment during the event. This is where the right technology partner like Criteo is essential, to help retailers deliver advertising at scale. Retailers aren’t going to get another opportunity like this again…well not in the foreseeable future. To have as engaged audience as this is a retail dream, however it will come down to how prepared they are.

To have as engaged online audience as this is a retail dream during Click Frenzy, however it comes down to how digitally prepared retailers are. Retailers should ensure they’re not missing the opportunity to cash in on such peak sales event as this as they’re not going to get another opportunity like this again…well not in the foreseeable future.

Colin Barnard is Commercial Director at Criteo ANZ