The first Monday in December – dubbed Mega Monday by Visa – evolved from an at-work shopping trend into – thanks to the proliferation of smartphone and tablet technology – a fully fledged digital showcase for online retailers.
The figures for Mega Monday are startling:
- Across the UK, online shoppers have been filling their baskets at a rate of more than £200,000 every minute
- In total 7 million transactions were made in this 24hour period
- This is a 21 % increase on sales last year. John Lewis reported that their online sales were up at 55 % – with the store taking 2 orders every second
- The busiest time for shopping online being between 20:00 and 21:00
The following chart from Experian Hitwise presents figures for pre-Christmas sales in 2011. You can see that Black Friday and Mega Monday were still significant retail days in the UK and that they were far bigger than any other Monday or Friday in November.
[Image location: http://www.experian.com/blogs/hitwise-uk/2012/11/21/whats-the-difference-between-mega-monday-and-cyber-monday/]
How can online retailers capitalise on Mega Monday spending?
1. Know your audience
Consumers spend much more time shopping around for products and services using the internet to compare prices, research and compare product information, read customer reviews etc. so tailor your site design around easy comparison or browsing.
2. Treat the Early-bird shopper
Consumers have learned how to spread out their spending and take advantage of retailers’ promotions all year round instead of rushing to get their shopping done last minute. So incentivise online spending at key times in the calendar – provide exclusives and reward returning visitors. Mega Monday saw a range of special offers targeting shopping on this specific day.
- Reduce steps to your online checkout to minimise consumer dropout rates – customers accessing your products using a PC, tablet or mobile phone don’t want to get caught in long visitor journeys
- Use mobile shopping apps that offer coupons and use your email marketing to tie-in with coupon deals
- Socialise’ with your customers – use social media to get people talking about you. Offer loyalty points for “checking in” to a location, liking you on Facebook, or tweeting about your offers or service
3. Mobile imperative
For consumers, shopping by device is quickly becoming a favourite way to shop.
Christopher North of Amazon.co.uk states:
“As people increasingly shop on mobile devices and benefit from fast broadband at home, we’re seeing a move towards customers buying their Christmas gifts later in the evening when they are at home relaxing.’’
And finally, what of the British high street?
The British Retail Consortium warn that online shopping is damaging the traditional high street reporting a town centre vacancy rate in the UK of 11.3% in October 2012.
Mega Monday is undoubtedly the trading high point of the consumer year and has given online retailers a much needed boost in the run up to Christmas.