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Retailer summit to focus preparations for tough sales season


Data shows Australian retailer revenue is on track to drop 11.99 per cent compared to last year as leading global financial platform Airwallex announces a summit of leading retail experts to arm business leaders for a difficult peak sales season.

The new ‘Your Passport to Beyond Black Friday’ summit will look at the impact of recent consumer spending trends and discuss ideas and solutions to the challenges retailers expected during the upcoming peak sales season.

The speaker line up includes e-commerce expert and former Head of Marketing at Uber and Chief Marketing Office (CMO) at Ryderwear, Mal Chia, co-founder and CMO of iconic global skincare brand Frank Body, Jess Hatzis, Director of Customer Experience and Omni Channel at Threebyone Denim (owner of Neuw Denim, Rolla’s Jeans and Abrand Jeans), Rachel Tigel, and co-founder of Aussie swimwear success story Kulani Kinis, Alex Babbich.

Airwallex Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Luke Latham, said the summit aimed to assist retailers make the most of the upcoming sales season and understand strategies to address impacts the effects the cost-of-living crunch may have.

“Retailers are living this year’s expected 11.99 per cent hit to their revenue but they know it’s not that Australians aren’t spending at all, it’s that they’re spending more thoughtfully,” Latham said.

“This summit is about helping retailers maximise the sales season's upside given how slow the year has been for so many so far.

“We know the cost of living means price will stay firmly front of mind for consumers. One in two shoppers are saying they’ve recently purchased a different brand to what they usually would due to price.

“With little room to move on prices or to offer smaller discounts, retailers will also need to find other ways to maintain and bolster profits, and this summit will bring some of the sector’s leading experts together to discuss exactly those issues.”

Latham said Airwallex was also releasing a peak sales season guide for retailers for called ‘Passport to Peak Profits,’ drawing on expert advice and tips.

“To stay competitive, attract customers and maintain margins, retailers are going to need to look closely at their cost base and supply chains,” Latham said.

“Businesses need to take stock of all their costs, right across the board. It’s not just big ticket items that eat into profits - there’s dozens, if not hundreds, of unnecessary everyday costs that are chipping away at the bottom line.

“The ‘conversion trap’ from international transaction fees is a case in point, as money moves from overseas customers to the business's bank to the business's suppliers, it can be converted up to three times along the way.

“These fees can cost 5.5 per cent of the value of each transaction. That all adds up, but in this climate, businesses can’t afford it. These charges used to be an unavoidable cost in doing business, but in this day and age, it’s an unnecessary and avoidable expense.”

The advice guide includes dozens of strategies retailers can consider in addition to avoiding the ‘conversion trap’, with top tips including:

Increasing checkout conversions by offering multiple payment and shipping options, allowing guest checkouts and embracing autofill forms

Integrating AI into the employee and customer experience, across logistics and product design

Revenue-based financing to boost marketing spending and stock levels, while repayments are based on a percentage of your daily sales

Budgeting accurately for tax liabilities and filing returns for each market

The ‘Your Passport to Beyond Black Friday’ summit will take place from 4pm on Thursday, 5 October at Watersedge at The Rocks in Sydney. In addition to the speaker sessions, the summit will also feature a Peak Season Partner Marketplace where attendees can ‘shop’ and come away with goodies and solutions to help your brand go beyond Black Friday.

The ‘Your Passport to Beyond Black Friday’ summit is open to Australian retailers and you can register here

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