Get ready for 5 million shoppers to hit Australian stores tomorrow

study reveals how promotions influence shopper behaviour

Bricks-and-mortar retailers are warned to be ready for a rush tomorrow, with a Commonwealth Bank survey revealing Saturday December 17 will be the busiest shopping day of this year’s Christmas period.

The report, released last month, predicts this “super Saturday” will see one quarter of Australians heading into stores to get presents for under the tree.

The following few days won’t slow down, reports CBA, with Sunday 18 the second most popular day, followed by Thursday 22 for those who want the authentic last minute shopping experience.

Read more: As the Christmas crunch approaches, do customers know when your business is open?

Women get their shopping done well before men, with many heading to the stores on December 1, 3, and 10. Men live up to the unorganised stereotype, leaving their gift buying until December 22 and 23.

Women are also expected to spend more, claiming $5.2 billion of the $9.9 billion Australians will spend on gifts this year.

Online retail is a different story, with a separate report revealing December 13 would be an online shopping “bonanza”, with spending up 60% from a typical day over the festive period.

The final bite of the donut

Retail expert Pippa Kulmar told SmartCompany earlier this month the online shopping boost was filling the “donut hole” left by retail shopping frenzies, with December 17-23 signifying the closure of the donut.

“Christmas retail is anecdotally donut-like. In late November retailers often see a spike in shoppers as everyone gets in pre-emptively for Christmas. Then there’s a lull in the early weeks of December, before another massive spike just before Christmas itself,” Kulmar said.

“A lot of [bricks-and-mortar stores] expect traffic to be consistent all throughout the Christmas period, but the majority of shopping is still done last minute.”

For business owners feeling daunted by the prospect of a Christmas rush, some experts advise plenty of staff and stock are key to a smooth Christmas period.

“Retailers should be making sure they have both sufficient staff and well-trained staff,” retail expert Gary Mortimer told SmartCompany last month.

“And with all the late night trade, some retailers should be keeping the security of their staff in mind. You don’t want young people walking to their cars alone late at night.”

Russell Zimmerman, chief executive of the Australian Retailers Association, also told SmartCompany the key to happy trading is plenty of stock.

“Its important to keep in close contact with your suppliers so you can get hold of a product to restock your shelves quickly.”

Will the rush blow Aussie’s budgets?

The CBA survey also revealed Australians struggle to budget when it comes to Christmas time, with an average shopper ending up $345 out of pocket after all the presents are wrapped.

“The total budget blowout by Australians in the pre-Christmas period is expected to reach $616 million, with the majority (60 per cent) of shoppers splashing the cash without bothering to set a budget or track their spending as they go,” executive general manager in retail products and strategy for CBA Clive Van Horen said in a statement.

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