The recent cyber sales period delivered strong results for Australian retailers, with a 10% average year-on-year revenue increase for participating brands, according to new data from global ecommerce and marketplace accelerator, Pattern.

2022’s cyber sales achieved an 8% increase in website traffic, as well as a 1% increase in conversion rates and average order value (AOV) with Black Friday holding the strongest AOV of $155. The only metric that recorded a decline this year was units per order – which dropped 7%.

“The recent cyber sales period delivered strong returns for Australian brands, who will be relieved following a softer operating period. The results were pleasing across the board and although the average amount of units per order was down, this had no bearing on actual order spend,” Pattern Australia general manager, Merline McGregor said.

“Whether the recent strong performance for brands through the cyber sales period is indicative that 2023 will be a prosperous year for Australian brands or not is yet to be seen. There are significant economic headwinds with rising interest rates impacting on household budgets, which could limit retail spending through next year.”

What trends do brands need to be aware of – and how can they maximise the chances of engaging and converting customers in the year ahead?

Social commerce connects with Millennial and Gen Z shoppers

Australian consumers who use social media for online shopping are forecast to increase up to 6.4 million by the year 2024. As platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest improve their social commerce capabilities, this increase is expected to rise quickly in the coming year.

“We anticipate that although influencers will continue to be an asset to drive consideration for purchase, the growth in brand social commerce spend in Australia will increasingly be allocated to top-of-funnel activity like brand awareness engagement and e-store traffic. As a result, pixel and product feed hygiene must become a priority for brands seeking to attract and convert Millennial and Gen Z buyers across social media,” McGregor said.

Local online marketplace sector evolves

Tighter household budgets will lead to an increase in the number of price sensitive shoppers in Australia. This will shift shopping behaviour and result in a growth in traffic to online marketplaces that customers perceive offer price value.

To succeed in a competitive online marketplace environment, brands will need to develop and execute Amazon go-to market strategies, as the platform increases market share against eBay and becomes dominant in Australia.

“Currently 30% of Australians have an Amazon Prime membership, a figure expected to rise dramatically in the coming 12 months as the company builds out its infrastructure and attracts new shoppers through price and convenience. In 2023, brands must become active on key marketplaces to not only broaden their reach and drive revenue, but also act as a defence strategy against competition and unauthorised sellers,” McGregor said.

Customer nurture activity key to offset drop in new shopper acquisition

In a year when new customer acquisition will be challenged, brands will need to nurture existing customers and invest in activities that foster loyalty. Personalised recommendations and shopping deals that enhance the customer experience, powered by leveraging existing buyer data, will build loyalty and open up sales opportunities.

“Today’s brands are rich in customer data and these days that is often overlooked or underutilised. In 2023 retailers can help offset a predicted downturn in new shopper activity by building personalised customer campaigns that reference existing shopper data to maximise sales from those people already familiar with your brand,” McGregor said.