This month Australians were recognised as the most active online shoppers in the world, however struggles with supply mean that the ‘out-of-stock’ symbol is showing up more than ever! Meanwhile Facebook (or Meta) is making ad call-outs easier, and the big banks became big spenders!

It’s been a busy month for retail, online shopping and ad campaigns as we reach the end of another year and still struggle with the changes a pandemic has brought upon us, such as online demand, struggles with suppliers and basic organisation of online shopping platforms. If we’ve learnt anything in the past two years, it’s that online retail is here to stay and therefore the value of efficient online marketing is paramount, as the big banks have shown! So let’s take a deep dive into this month’s activity!

1. Out-of-stock: Retail struggles with supply.

A recent report from Adobe Analytics highlighted that retail is not free of the pandemic yet! Their report found more than 2 billion instances of a product being out of stock online across 18 categories tracked. That’s up 33% from the same month last year and 325% since October 2019! If you’re currently shopping online, one in every 50 pages will show an out-of-stock message. In January 2020, pre-pandemic, it was closer to one in every 140 pages. As global supply chains bow under pressure, retailers struggle to receive the shipments they need for the holiday rush. This means the message to shop early is now more important than ever. And those who do not have to rely solely on global suppliers should do their utmost to reach the market while their bigger, global competitors struggle!

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 2. This year the Big Four banks became big spenders!

This year ten major Australian banks received approximately 9.2 billion online ad impressions, and spent collectively over $50 million to do so, according to recent AdClarity and Similarweb data. This big spend, along with around $15 million spent on ‘search’ and organic traffic, delivered 204 million unique visitors to their websites. Unsurprisingly the Big Four were the top spenders and had the largest share of voice. However, only three of the big four were the top performers in terms of driving unique traffic. Compared to those banks, Bendigo Bank and ING’s efficiency ranking was higher than their spend ranking, suggesting a more efficient use of funds on their part, quality, not quantity. On top of smart spending, videos accounted for 41% of impressions for the banks, across 115 publishers, so it appears the traction of video for all, from banks to businesses, is not slowing down anytime soon either!

The vast majority of impressions bought by the banks were delivered programmatically indicating confidence in this buying method to deliver messages to the audience.

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3. Adding call-outs to your Facebook Christmas campaign just got easier!

Just in time for the holiday season, Facebook Ads has included a new optional ‘Call-outs’ section at ad level. This addition will allow users to include other value propositions in their copy, plus added call-outs, saving copy characters and getting out as much information as possible. When setting up the call-outs you can choose up to and from three options, such as ‘Free Shipping’, ‘Payment Options’ and ‘Return Policy’.

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4. Australians are recognised as the most active online shoppers in the world.

As of November 2021 Australians have a new fame to their name, becoming the world’s most active online shoppers. The Publicis Sapient Digital Life Index 2021 survey revealed that 62% of Australians searched for new products or services online, compared with the global average of 55%. The survey found that shoppers still prefer to use desktop for online shopping over apps, with over 50% of Australians preferring desktop. Australians are more likely to buy from a brand that offers an easy-to-navigate interface and 46% of Australians prefer retailers to have an easy way to manage any returns.

The top frustrations for online shoppers were: poor search functionality, slow loading times and unclear site navigation. For websites to appeal to customers, they must make sure the desktop experience is seamless.

On the flip side, Gen Z were found to be the one group that preferred to shop by app, with 66% saying they wanted everything optimised for mobile phones. 40% of Gen Z-ers also purchase via social media making them the most likely target group for this. In addition, they also prefer personalised content and advice when shopping online.

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