One-day sales site set for $1.5m-plus target
The organiser of the Click Monday online sales promotion is hailing the event as a success, saying 150,000 bargain hunters had visited the sales site by this morning.
Cate Bryant said the 24-hour pre-Christmas promotion was on track to generate between $1.5 million and $2m in sales for its 80 participating retailers by the time it closed at 7pm today.
That was despite criticism from an academic that consumer interest reflected a herd mentality and was not rational.
The promotion is the first attempt in New Zealand to emulate the popular "Cyber Monday" event in the United States, where online retailers club together to offer discounts over a 24-hour period at the start of the holiday season.
Kaye Su, marketing manager at Shoe Connection, one of the chains participating in Click Monday, said it had generated a "good number" of sales.
"Would we do it again? Yes," she said.
Another major chain is understood to have seen its online sales increase three-fold during the promotion. Auckland toy store Toyco reported a 10-fold rise in online sales and staff had only got two hours' sleep, Bryant said.
Bryant said $1.5m-$2m of sales might not sound a lot but reflected the fact online sales still only accounted for about 6 per cent of New Zealand retail trade.
"That is where we are in the evolution of the market," she said.
Canterbury University associate professor Ekant Veer said Click Monday deals were not necessarily the best, and savvy buyers were finding that some of the items for sale were cheaper at other times of the year.
Others items on which discounts were being offered were not "the current trendy products, but . . . old lines and out-of-date products", he said.
"Click Monday is more akin to excitement and mob mentality associated with purchasing behaviour, rather than rational savings behaviour," Veer said.
Bryant said it was "somewhat misleading" for Veer to say the site was offering old lines and out-of-date products, as "the new Apple iPad Air or all of the new-season apparel clearly contradict this statement".
"We also didn't exempt retailers from wanting to clear some product at prices that are attractive to consumers - that would mean consumers would miss out," she said.
"Consumers voted with their wallets, so the price points must have been competitive enough for them to purchase. It's not a bad start."