Now that Black Friday is out of the way, it’s natural to wonder when to expect the next massive wave of shoppers to cascade through the doors. At Brickwork, we work with many leading brands and retailers to gather relevant data, and while there are plenty of days between now and Christmas on which retailers will have their hands full, our data suggest an unexpected Black Friday contender: Boxing Day.
Boxing Day Comes Close to Black Friday’s Offline Intent
In preparation for the holiday sales, the research team at Brickwork looked at the activity leading up to Christmas time, specifically covering the time period between Dec 23rd and 27th, to assess what the store page and store locator online traffic will look like.
Based on the trends for the past 2 years, we have a strong structural reason to believe that Boxing day — the day after Christmas— will have the second hight visit of store locators and pages after the Black Friday 2017. We particularly expect an increase of 2.4 times the usual traffic the day after Christmas.
The time around Christmas is certainly volatile as well—some of our customers saw their in-store traffic increase by 470% the Friday before Christmas, and another group of customers doubled their stores’ offline intent the day after Boxing Day—but given the consistency of our projections, December 26th will be a busy day for retailers.
Peak Hours to Occur Around Noon EST This Year
Our data scientists also looked at the unique visits by the hour during the Boxing day. As a result, we expect the Boxing Day rush start out relatively early, with shoppers beginning to visit retailers’ sites at between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM EST. Our research indicates that the main spike in activity will come between the hours of 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM EST, and activity after that point will taper off throughout the day.
Offline intent may continue into the day following Boxing Day as well, given the number of Brickwork customers who saw huge spikes in activity on both December 26th and December 27th.
How can retailers leverage the digital traffic this year?
Given our projections that Boxing Day’s popularity will rival that of Black Friday, it may seem daunting to consider such a retail holiday. Fortunately, there are several measures that retailers can take to capitalize on the huge opportunity that Boxing Day presents.
1. Update Store Hours
To fit demand, we recommend that retailers expand their hours of operation, particularly if normal store hours don’t include the 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM window. With updated store hours comes the responsibility of updating those hours on websites, in apps, and on local store searches—accuracy is paramount to maximizing the availability of offline intent.
2. Hold In-Store Events
Giving customers an objective reason to visit a physical store location is key in converting reluctant Boxing Day consumers. Holding a gift return section, offering personal shopping services, and providing complimentary items are just a few ways that retailers can incentivize customers to visit their brick-and-mortar locations on Boxing Day.
3. Book Appointments
Allowing customers to call and book in-store appointments ahead of time is one specific way in which retailers can generate offline intent this year. Appointments can include anything from general consultation to personal shopping—the end goal is simply to make sure that they’re aware that retailer’s stores are open and active on Boxing Day.
4. Update and Advertise
This is extremely important: any Boxing Day-specific activity happening in a store should be noted as explicitly as possible on retailers’ websites. This includes in-store events, expanded hours, promotions, and location details if necessary. Retailers will also want to make sure that their store locators are up to date with the expanded hours.
At Brickwork, we understand that any holiday is a frantic time of year—and this year’s Boxing Day certainly isn’t an exception. To see why brands like Nike and Saks Fifth Avenue continue to choose our software in order to convert online traffic, book a Brickwork demo today!