Headline article image How to prepare your store for Boxing Day bargain hunters

How to prepare your store for Boxing Day bargain hunters

It’s one of the biggest dates in the retail calendar. Here’s how retailers can make the most of the Boxing Day sale.

Before Black Friday, before Cyber Monday, before Single’s Day, there was Boxing Day.

And while Boxing Day may no longer be the biggest sales event in Australia (that distinction goes to Black Friday), it is still beloved by bargain hunters, who spend nearly $3 billion every year, online and in-store.

And in 2022, after several summers of bushfires and pandemic restrictions, hopes are high for spending during the festive season and beyond (up until inflation and soaring interest rates impact consumer confidence in 2023).

Here’s how to get the most out of this year’s Boxing Day sales:

Be prepared, early

Bargain-hunters take Boxing Day very seriously. That means long queues outside stores and surges in online traffic. For retailers, it’s important to get prepared well ahead of time.

In 2021, Finder.com.au found the vast majority of online shopping occurred between 6am and 2pm on December 26. There was also a two-hour surge in online traffic between midnight and 2am, as shoppers logged on to be first to bag bargains.

In the weeks before Boxing Day, retailers should prepare in-store signage, online banners and pop-ups, as well as social media posts alerting customers to discounts and deals, and schedule emails and posts to go live when the sale starts.

Cut through with comms

Shoppers are likely to be inundated with Boxing Day sales promotions, so it’s important to ensure that yours stands out with strong, clear offers and discounts.

At such a noisy time of year, it’s also worth considering creative ways to capture customers’ attention. For example, you could encourage shoppers to spend their Christmas gift cards with you or offer VIP customers extra loyalty points or benefits.

Decide the most appropriate channels for your customers – whether that’s email, SMS or social media (or all three) – and consider personalising offers to different customer segments or sending targeted emails to online shoppers with abandoned carts or wishlisted products to alert them that the item is on sale.

Don't forget to visit the Afterpay holiday toolkit and download your free Boxing Day assets for web, social and email and more.

Forecast demand

Want to know what shoppers will be searching for in the Boxing Day sales? Start by looking back on historic sales data to identify what sold well in previous years, and also check which products are popular among customer wishlists, as many customers pre-plan what they’ll buy in sales and add the products to their wishlist.

Remember that customers shop differently on Boxing Day compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM). Unlike BFCM, where many shoppers stock up on festive gifts for others, Boxing Day shoppers are more likely to be buying for themselves. In previous years, clothing, home electronics and white goods have been particularly popular categories in Australia.

Brief staff

Sales staff – whether they are in-store sales assistants or online customer support staff – need to be briefed on what to expect, how to manage inventory issues and how to handle gift cards. 

Gift cards have become one of the most popular gift options in recent years, and eager customers often cash theirs in on Boxing Day. It’s important to ensure that all staff understand exactly how they can be redeemed.

Set your delivery policy early

It is crucial to decide on delivery terms and options well ahead of Boxing Day. Ensure that delivery times and fees are clearly communicated on your website, and consider offering a range of delivery options – from standard shipping to express delivery and click-and-collect – to remove any barriers to purchase.

Similarly, ensure your refund policy is clearly visible on your website. 

Think past sale day

It’s one thing to drive sales and revenue on Boxing Day. However, to ensure that your Boxing Day strategy continues to deliver dividends well into 2023 and beyond, take time to consider how you will convert one-time sales shoppers into long-term customers.

For brick-and-mortar retailers, the answer may be collecting customer data via e-receipts (and incentivising staff to do this). For e-commerce retailers, it’s important to collect information or add customers to your subscriber list so that you can connect with them after Boxing Day.

All references to any registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Afterpay does not endorse or recommend any one particular supplier and the information provided is for educational purposes only.


Written by
Katy Hall
Katy Hall is a reporter and freelance writer.
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