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How Blow Out Sales Have Reshaped the Shopping Experience

With Black Friday right around the corner and the holiday season not far behind, online retailers are gearing up for their annual blow out sales. 

But just like every other event in 2020, COIVD-19 has put a real spanner in the works. We suspect these sales may look a little different this year with retailers relying more than ever on online channels to make sales. 

So let’s jump right into and explore the ways Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other flash sales have changed the ways customers buy and how these trends will affect your brand’s success in 2021. 

The rise of online shopping

While Black Friday originated in the US in the 50s, it was quickly adopted by the Australians (just like Halloween, but less spooky), becoming one of the biggest shopping days in history. 

What used to entail long queues, coupon cutouts and late night shopping can now be appreciated with a glass of wine and a box and donut holes in hand without even moving from the couch.

Customers can now shop anywhere, anytime thanks to mobile eCommerce. Blurring the lines between the online and in-store experience, consumers expect an optimised shopping trip that is more sophisticated than the Queen’s English. 

By transitioning the in-person shopping experience to online platforms and promoting the experience through social media channels, consumers have the choice on how and when to shop. 

Make it personalised

If you want to boost eCommerce sales during a highly competitive time, personalising the customer journey is the first step to success. 

eCommerce has progressed immensely over the past few years, which has elevated customer expectations A LOT. 

A seamless shopping experience is no longer enough. 

Customers expect brands to pull out all the stops, creating a fully immersive and personalised experience.

This means if a sale is coming up on an item they’ve been following closely — consumers expect to be relayed this information without searching high and low for it. And if you aren’t going to deliver a sale, you best believe they’ll find it somewhere else.

Want to drive more conversions? Learn how to tailor your content, retain customers and ensure your organisation continues to grow. Download our report on personalising the customer experience for a complete overview of cross-channel personalisation.


Brand loyalty

The psychology around brands has completely changed. These days, to really stand out, you’ll want to aim your marketing strategy at turning acquisition into advocacy.

People who follow a brand closely know exactly when sales are coming. Previously loyal shoppers would buy all year round, but now they’re hanging out for those unbeatable deals because they can. 

Sales are no longer a driver of acquisition, they’re a way to strengthen your relationship with customers and gain their loyalty and support — which you need to be successful, especially when everyone’s slashing prices.

Save-sale shop phenomenon

It’s no secret that everyone loves a good deal and the reality is that customers are conditioned to expect discounts. The mentality that over time, a deal will emerge is common and oftentimes, consumers will wait for that deal to pounce on a purchase.

Then there’s the unsettling feeling of FOMO that kicks in for the deals marketed as “limited-time offers”. Once items go on sale, consumers tend to buy into an offer that’s advertised as limited-time because it can be easier to settle on the deal than find a better one somewhere else.

So… what trends will we see with eCommerce sales this year?

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Click Frenzy and other blow out sales have made strides in the online space in recent years. 

But with COVID-19 limiting the amount of in-store shoppers this year, what can we expect from big brands during this time?


Shoppers are becoming avid browsers. But with the right retargeting strategies in place, you can follow up with customers who never checked out.

Implementing marketing automation strategies that address abandoned carts, introducing messenger campaigns to highlight sales and investing in paid remarketing ads on Facebook and Instagram can all help drive sales.

Curated gifts

It’s time to target the guys that search “gift ideas for mum” every Christmas.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create a curated gift guide for shoppers looking to get a head start on Christmas shopping and boost your holiday sales. Focus on popular products and include them in your email marketing strategy. 

By leveraging these guides to reach your target audience, you can give them what they want and the option to make a sale then and there.

Limited time windows

Verbiage is becoming more important as shoppers become more savvy.

Using phrases like “act fast”, “limited-time only” and “don’t miss out” creates a sense of urgency which increases conversions and inspires immediate action with customers. But this isn’t always enough.

Light a fire under the consumer’s bum and get them to check out ASAP. Send them reminder emails or SMS and follow up on the purchase with phrases like “this sale won’t last forever” or “you’re forgetting something!” By instilling shopping momentum, or the psychological impulse to encourage a purchase, it can also lead to more sales and additional purchases. 

An omnichannel approach

Banner ads, social media promos, in-store contactless check out — the works.

If you want to capture the attention of your target audience, you’re going to have to do a little more than send a free shipping coupon.

Embrace the multichannel approach and provide your customers with the integrated shopping experience their hankering for.

Map out your eCommerce game plan

While 2020 has been a rough year for businesses across Australia, don’t let it deter you from making an impact this holiday season. 

Join Impressive for our 2-part webinar series, where we discuss the new retail landscape. Where are we now? What will holiday shopping look like this year? And how will it impact the future of the industry?


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