The Christmas retail season is in full swing, and in Australia, shopping is the on the minds of many, as online buzz about gift-giving is up more than 400 percent, according to research from The Nielsen Company. Online retailers are vying for their share of the holiday spend and have recorded a 36 percent increase in online ad impressions between July and October.
“Christmas isn’t sometimes called the silly season for nothing,” said Mark Higginson, Director of Analytics at Nielsen’s online division. “Shopping centers and malls are extremely hectic and crowded this time of year, and for many consumers, online retail channels offer an increasingly appealing opportunity to shop from the comfort of one’s own home rather than battle the crowds.”
With the strong exchange rate, many Australians were expected to look to overseas web sites to make online purchases. But Nielsen found that a mass migration to US or UK sites has not materialized; between July and October, the volume of traffic to major Australian, UK and US online retailers has remained relatively unchanged.
“Local online retailers need to be cognizant of the risk of losing shoppers to cheaper overseas sites. When all is said and done, it will be interesting to see where the traffic points. While we haven’t seen anything of note to date, it’s very possible that Australian consumers are simply biding their time and waiting to see what retailers offer in the way of pre-Christmas bargains, both locally and abroad,” concluded Higginson.