Saturday 3 December 2016

Cyber Monday offers €53m boost to embattled retailers

Simon Rowe

Published 27/11/2016 | 02:30

Online shopping is increasingly important for Irish retailers
Online shopping is increasingly important for Irish retailers

Cyber Monday - the busiest online sales day of the year - is predicted to boost Irish retailers' coffers to the tune of €53m.

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The annual online sales splurge that traditionally takes place tomorrow is the online equivalent of Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.

As Irish consumers grow increasingly familiar with the concept of Cyber Monday, and more brands offer cut-price deals, online sales have surged by 32pc to an estimated €53m, with as many as one in three brands now offering online discounts.

According to new research from Core Media, Ireland's largest media buying group, one in eight Irish adults will purchase online, with total internet traffic forecast to increase 20pc on 2015 figures.

Research conducted across 250 brands in Ireland also showed that one in three brands will offer a discount online. Technology is the sector with the largest percentage of offers, with 75pc of brands in this category having specific offers for the day versus 45pc in 2015.

"Cyber Monday is becoming a very important date for retailers in Ireland. If you look to the US, the sale is beginning to reach its peak due to an increase in sales in the run-up to Christmas, with the likes of Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day and Singles Day in China," said Colm Sherwin, group digital media director of Core Media.

"Searches for Cyber Monday on Google in the US only grew by 5pc in 2015 year on year, but here in Ireland they increase by nearly 25pc," said Sherwin.

"Consumers are beginning to see this sale as an established part of the sales calendar and now prepare their online shopping plan well in advance of the date.

"Another reason driving Cyber Monday is that it occurs around the last pay date for many employees before Christmas, and consumers tend to buy online far in advance of the final postal dates."

Meanwhile, Irish retailers have voiced concerns over poor pre-Christmas trading, with many citing "an aggressive slowdown" in the past fortnight.

In a note to members, trade body Retail Excellence Ireland said: "We have been contacted by a significant number of members in recent days who are very concerned about current trading.

"What we have seen so far in 2016 has been a reasonable first half to the year, followed by a significant reduction in activity in quarter three, with a further more aggressive slowdown over the past three weeks.

"We believe a key contributor is the postponement of spending by consumers into the dreaded Black Friday weekend."

Black Friday - traditionally the day after Thanksgiving Day in the US - has become a global phenomenon, with Irish shoppers splurging millions on discounted goods ahead of the festive rush.

This year, Amazon was the first to launch Black Friday deals daily from November 14. In the UK, Morrisons followed suit, tempting shoppers with bargains on prosecco, wine and beer. Then eBay jumped on the bandwagon, as did Argos, Boots, Tesco and Carphone Warehouse, to name but a few.

Some high street stores opened their doors as early as 5am, with some bargain hunter shoppers even paying others to queue for them.

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