Australian retail sales continued to strengthen in February despite the global economic uncertainty and cost pressures on business, with sales increasing 8.1 per cent compared to the same time last year according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.
Sales in February also increased three per cent compared to the previous month and are up 14 per cent on pre-pandemic conditions in 2020.
Household goods remains the top performing retail category, recording the seventh straight month of positive year on year growth, with sales up 18.1 per cent.
“Despite the challenging business conditions, consumer spending continued to be upbeat during February and most categories of retail recorded positive year on year growth,” Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra says.
Indeed, data from MessageMedia shows February added to Australia’s retail momentum in 2022. And there was one day that sped up sales more than others—Valentine’s Day.
SMS delivery increased by 18x between the last week of January and first week of February, with more than one million messages containing the words ‘Valentine’, ‘chocolate’ and ‘flowers’. After an estimated $415 million was spent on gifts, ongoing retail messaging momentum suggests that consumer-driven events like Valentine’s Day will propel retailers into their best year since the start of the pandemic.
“Valentine’s Day has launched retailers into their best performing year in three years,” Tara Salmon, chief marketing officer at MessageMedia says.
“Despite a 4.4 per cent drop in retail activity in December 2021 (ABS), it’s proving to be a promising start to the year as Aussies get back to supporting home grown businesses.”
MessageMedia has identified key factors that retailers should be looking forward to in 2022. These key milestones are set to be driving factors in kickstarting the Australian market.
Here are MessageMedia's top 5 factors that will relaunch retail in 2022:
o Easing of Covid-19 restrictions
o The return of international tourism and migration
o Pandemic-driven supply chain shortages easing
o Retailers turning to tech including online activations and SMS
o Major retail milestones such as Valentine’s Day, Mothers and Father’s Day, Black Friday, Singles Day, Boxing Day