Opportunities for Australian Businesses in The New Zealand Market

Opportunities for Australian Businesses in The New Zealand Market

Sequoia Cardoso de Sá
. 22 Jun 2022 . 4 min read

For Australian brands breaking into the New Zealand market there is incredible potential. The share of online spending on overseas retailers is 45%, with overseas outlets potentially overtaking local online retailers in online sales within New Zealand.

Since New Zealand is a smaller nation, with roughly 5 million people, there tend to be fewer options locally for some industries. Australia, with more major cities, a much larger population and a more competitive business environment has more variety and a greater range which, when these options ship to NZ, benefits Kiwi consumers.

51% of New Zealanders have minimal or no trust in online retailers, so building trust with customers will be paramount to any Australian retailer that wishes to tap into this neighbouring market. Loyalty programs, showcasing product ratings and placing reviews front & centre boosts consumer confidence and are highly valuable and vital aspects of selling online.

New Zealand customers will be turned off a brand, or lose trust, due to:

  • Inconsistent customer service
  • A poor refund or return experience
  • Poor treatment of employees
  • Brands that are difficult to contact or fail to offer access to real people
  • Hearing bad stories from other people
  • Expensive shipping

In fact, 74% of New Zealanders agree the behaviour of a company is just as important as what the company sells so being an ethical company also matters – not just having a great product.

It’s important for us to mention the fact that Kiwis are increasingly turning to local shopping to support the economy after lockdowns, which is a great thing domestically. For Australian brands that sell something that may be widely available within the local NZ market already, it may be more difficult to cut through. However, as mentioned above, in some industries there are limited options for Kiwis. They may not find a local store that sells the style of dress they are looking for and may turn to an Australian boutique that offers free shipping to NZ. Likewise, they may be searching for a very specific high quality natural product and struggle to find it locally, so they will turn to Australia to see if they can have it shipped. If they have a positive experience, they become loyal customers.

Likewise, if they cannot find particular food (long-lasting) prices locally, or those food prices are jacked up because of lack of local competition, those customers may find those products on Amazon or from an Australian stockist instead for a better price (think tea, powders, dried products etc.). In fact, many prices for food-type items or health products tend to be cheaper in Australia as the market is more competitive. In New Zealand, where there may be a lack of competition, some companies will exponentially increase their prices. Our New Zealand-based team member found a tea on Amazon Australia for $17 that was $30 from a local kiwi stockist. For this reason alone, many Kiwis may find themselves checking Australian prices to compare their options.

One of the largest barriers to entry is shipping prices. Consumers don’t like to pay for shipping with most preferring to pay a slightly higher price on the product but to receive free shipping. There are various shipping providers within both New Zealand and Australia, many of which have seamless integrations with Shopify, Neto, NZPost, etc.,

From what our team has witnessed, a couple of industries that have the greatest competitive advantage in the New Zealand market are:

Australian clothing boutiques

We have staff in New Zealand and have been growing within the market. One thing we can anecdotally confirm is that many Kiwis (before covid) would jump onto a plane and travel to Melbourne for a weekend to shop. They would jump across the ditch with a mostly empty suitcase just for a shopping spree because many Kiwis feel the options in Australia are better (and there’s definitely more variety!). While that habit of heading to Melbourne or Brisbane for a shopping spree practically ceased back in 2020 & 2021, those retailers can still reach their New Zealand customers and find new ones thanks to online shopping. Whether we see Kiwis flying to Aus for their fashion needs in 2022 is not entirely known yet.

Australian health & wellness products

Natural health & wellness products can be competitive depending on what the product is. For example, New Zealand is known for certain herbal products and for those there is no shortage. However, there are some health & wellness products that Kiwis lack options for and these products are where you will often see price hikes.

Other Industries & Sectors Have Opportunities Too!

There are definitely opportunities for other brands & sectors as well, but these are two types of businesses that can generally offer free or affordable shipping rates due to smaller/lighter parcels and can be beneficial to the local market. A great opportunity also lies with brands that sell a product that’s not available within the local NZ market at all, or where there’s a bit of a monopoly with only one stockist or brand selling a type of product.

How to break into the New Zealand market?

We’d be foolish to give away all of our strategy in a blog post. Fill out an enquiry form and chat to our team in a non-obligation discovery call to learn more about breaking into the New Zealand market.

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Are Podcasts Worth it For Boosting Your Brand?

Sequoia Cardoso de Sá
. 20 Jan 2022 . 4 min read

We love a good list post at Agora, so we’ve blended two lists into one post. Read on to find out why podcasts are worth it for boosting your brand, and how to get started!

Podcasts may not be on every business’s radar, but there are certainly some businesses that should be considering this channel to boost their brand awareness. Before you dive into podcasts, consider your business’s current goals and needs. There may be other channels to test, invest in, and further develop before dipping your toes into podcast ads.

But now that we’ve given our ‘evaluate your own business needs’ disclaimer, we can ask the question we’re all here for: are podcast ads worth it for boosting brand awareness?
Our vote is a resounding yes!

For brands ready to dive into podcast advertising, there’s a lot to be gained. In fact, studies have found podcasts can boost brand awareness from 24% to 79%. That’s a pretty hefty figure and speaks volumes by itself, but let’s break it down some more:

Four simple reasons podcast ads are worth the investment

1. Podcasts are portable, on-demand content pieces that audiences can easily slot into their day-to-day life in short bursts. And the most important part of this – they actively choose to listen. Aside from the people who seem to be able to focus on two things at once (ahem Kailey), most podcast listeners are actively engaged when they choose to hit play.

2. The huge range of podcasts out there in the world means it’s easy to find ones that align well with your specific target audience and who you are as a brand. Find podcast hosts that share your interests and values, and you’re one step closer to building relationships with your ideal audience.

3. More than a third of listeners have made a purchase or conversion after being introduced to a brand from a podcast ad. And they’re more likely to have a high household income (hellooo purchasing power).

4. Podcast ads are 4.4 times more effective than display ads. Enough said.

So, since we've now convinced you to try podcast advertising, here are five tips to get started

1. Don’t obsess over the audience size

Instead of focusing on the numbers, focus on the podcasts that relate to your brand or industry. The ultimate factor to consider is the ‘fit’. Podcasts are aimed at defined audiences, so the right fit is the most important and impactful decision. It’s often most worthwhile to purchase multiple ad slots for small shows rather than one for big podcasts. You may consider a podcast audience solely based on the show’s topic and the audience’s clearly defined interests, or you may focus more on the audience’s age, income, and education level. And remember, size isn’t everything, it’s how you use it.

2. Understand the pricing of different podcast ads

Pricing on podcasts may be more transparent than you thought. While it’s not always the case, the simple formula below can provide a fairly good estimation of what you could expect to pay for a standard ad slot.

This will usually fall between $10 – $50 for a standard ad in a podcast… however, there will be a premium charge for large, popular podcasts.

The cost will sometimes vary quite dramatically depending on the ad structure you’re looking for. This could be anything from sponsoring an episode to running an intensive promotion across multiple episodes. The latter can be incredibly powerful since it feels more like a friendly recommendation than an ad, but with this comes bigger costs.

The two options above are essentially the two most prominent forms of advertising via podcasts: audio ads and branded podcasts.

Cost of Sponsoring 1 Episode = (# of Downloads per Episode / 1000) X CP

3. Verify you’re getting accurate numbers

Smaller, less reputable podcasts should provide metrics to prove they’re worth the investment. There are some metrics, such as downloads, that are easier to make up. So, to verify a podcast host is honest about their metrics, look at all the sites they’ve posted on. The platforms themselves generally provide view numbers. If they have a loyal audience, they most likely also have followers, likes and visual signs of engagement on their social media pages. You can also opt to work with a credible network, as they’re generally quite transparent with advertisers about their performance.

4. Consider the promotion you’ll run

McAfee – yes, the software security company – has their own podcast ‘Hackable’. Likewise, Lyft had a short podcast series, as did McDonalds. Having a branded podcast is an opportunity to contribute to the personality of the brand and the brand story, support the messaging and value propositions given, and for many brands, will also lend credibility.

With your own branded podcast, you can target a niche, tailored audience for your product/services, providing value and building relationships with potential customers. Listeners tend to be very loyal to the hosts of their favourite podcasts. So, if you have the means, it’s a great option. While podcasts are easy and affordable to produce, it does take time and dedication to build a loyal audience.

So, if you want to reach people immediately, or if hosting a podcast just isn’t feasible for your brand right now, podcast ads could be a better option. You can reach out to podcast hosts directly or speak to a third party to organise podcast ads. At Agora, one of our partners is Southern Cross Austereo because their audio network Listnr is a super robust platform.

5. Consider your ad placement

There are three different placements for podcast ads: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. These play before, in the middle of, or after the episode. Pre and post-roll ads are shorter and tend to be lower cost. However, it’s easier for the listener to miss them. Mid-roll placements are a little longer and a little more expensive but are placed at a point in the episode where listeners are engaged with the host and the content. The mid-roll ad is particularly engaging when host-read, as it allows the ad to seamlessly integrate with the organic episode content, which leverages that engagement we just mentioned.

Now that you're geared with more information about podcast advertising and some tips to start, go get ‘em! If you have questions or want an agency to help with podcast advertising, reach out to our team today.

Want to look at podcast advertising?

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Black Friday Bonanza: The Advertising Methods You’ll Want to Adopt for 2021

Sequoia Cardoso de Sá
. 19 Oct 2021 . 4 min read

Black Friday once meant lines of people wrapped around stores at sunrise and overflowing to the streets, shoppers fighting over the last few products, and crowds so loud and large that you were constantly shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow shoppers for that amazing new pair of shoes or gaming console with slashed prices.

But with worldwide eCommerce sales increasing 46% since 2019, hitting almost $4.9 billion in 2021, sales like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day have changed significantly. Black Friday in particular has transformed and morphed into a typical promotional period every November. It now spans multiple days, starting earlier and lasting longer, resulting in a loss of the original sense of urgency. Some retailers utilise month-long promotions, while others stick to the traditional 24-hour period. The longer promotional period seems to have been exacerbated by 2020.

Our Predictions

Black Friday will continue to be stretched out

After the ballooning of Black Friday in 2020, we don’t expect to see it bounce back to the original one-day event. Black Friday as a multi-day event is here to stay in 2021 for the majority of retailers, and customers are starting to expect it. 

Online sales will continue to skyrocket

In America in 2020, many popular items were out of stock online before the sun rose on Black Friday. Users know that they can buy online at midnight when many sales begin, getting ahead of the curb and snagging up those deals before the physical doors even open. We anticipate online sales for Black Friday will continue to surge in 2021 and beyond, particularly as more retailers have opened online stores in the past 18 months. 

Marketing Trends

A trend that has emerged is the ‘leaking’ of promos as early as October. Retailers have promoted their Black Friday deals early, hinting at particular price slashes in a bid to increase anticipation, build buzz and create more demand for their brand. If people know what they could be saving, they wait eagerly and prepare to be online as soon as those sales begin. 

With so many physical stores shifting online in the past 18 months, there will be more fierce competition online. Which means online marketing efforts will also be more competitive.

Although, despite the trend to shop online, 31% still prefer to shop in-store on Black Friday because of the overall excitement of the day and the ‘hunt’ for the perfect bargain.

For businesses with both online and offline stores, the focus still needs to be placed directing people both to the website and in-store.

Customer Expectations

Consumer Insights

54% of consumers will begin Holiday Shopping before Black Friday.

What customers anticipate
  • Free Shipping 
  • Limited-Time Sales
  • Click & Collect Capability
  • Easy to use website/app
Email Marketing

With 99% of email users checking their inbox every day (and some checking 20 times a day), email is an important channel for continuing to reach and engage customers for Black Friday. Ideally, you would already have a large usable email list. If not, we recommend prioritising the growth of your email list by creating an opt-in with a Black Friday theme and offering first access to deals or a free shipping coupon in exchange for their name and email. 

Scheduling your emails is important as people are most likely to check their inbox either just before or after they arrive at work, around their lunch break, and when they finish work. 

Importantly, don’t leave these emails until the day before. They should be landing in inboxes weeks before Black Friday to build anticipation and ensure people have the day marked on their calendar, with your store as a top priority. 

Elements of a good Black Friday email
  • Add the term ‘Black Friday’
  • Use emojis like a shopping cart of gift, but only at the end of the subject line
  • Personalise with a first name
  • A sense of exclusivity and / or urgency
  • Promotions & offers front and centre
  • Keep headlines, subject lines and call-to-actions appealing and attention grabbing

Ensure you also send an email towards the end of the promotion with a sense of urgency in the subject heading i.e., ‘Only 12 hours left of Black Friday prices. Get your deals before it’s too late’.

Abandoned Cart Emails

Abandoned cart emails are always a good idea. So it makes sense we’d be suggesting it for Black Friday. In fact, creating cart abandonment emails turns out to be one of the most significant strategies for online businesses. Reminding customers of the deals they haven’t yet purchased is a powerful way to gain them back and guide them through the checkout process.

SMS Marketing

Australians also respond positively to SMS communication from brands, with high open rates across the board. Let your customers know the sale has begun, or will be starting tomorrow, with an SMS message. Don’t go overboard with this though, no one likes spam on their phone. 

Audio Ads – Spotify

Audio engagement travels with consumers where visuals can’t go with 7 of 10 listeners able to correctly identify a brand after hearing an audio advertisement. Audio ads on channels such as Spotify provide an excellent opportunity to deliver targeting audio ads where visuals can’t go, reaching people while they are engaged with their favourite music or podcasts. Also, this channel is easier to use than you might think. 

Paid Advertising

Tap into your paid marketing channels to get the word across before the day. A Black Friday campaign can be run through paid media channels from 2-4 weeks before the sales start. Keep the messaging clear, concise and focused on the promotion / offering. This can be specific or vague, promoting either ‘massive deals to be revealed on the day’, or ‘20% off our bedroom range this Black Friday’. Google Display, YouTube, Facebook and other awareness channels are ideal to utilise in the weeks leading up to the promotion, while Google Search needs to be front and centre on the day as people search for your products or brand. 

Make Your Sales Remarkable 

And finally, bringing it back to where it all began, a competition between retailers to see who could offer customers the best deals. This is truly what customers are searching for during this promotional period, they want to see who is offering the most remarkable sales. So, consider your business, what stock you really need to move and what you can offer that would be remarkable for your customers. This is different for each brand. For example, if you’re known as a brand that never has a sale, then 15% is a remarkable sale. If you’re a brand that frequently holds sales and promotions, you may be expected to step it up a notch by your customer base. Consider your brand, your business and what makes sense from a profitability standpoint.

Need help with your Black Friday advertising strategy?

Chat to our team of eCommerce marketing experts today. 

Get in touch

Digital Marketing in a Post iOS 14.5 World

Sequoia Cardoso de Sá
. 20 Jul 2021 . 7 mins read

The digital world is always changing and 2021 has been no exception. Through a series of Facebook webinars, marketers globally learned how they would need to very quickly adapt to online advertising changes forced by Apple’s iOS 14 Privacy Policy.

What Apple is Changing

Starting with iOS 14.5, Apple is requiring apps to ask for user permission before sharing their data, and effectively, reducing the data businesses can access for their advertising efforts. User data is a huge asset to companies that rely primarily on ad revenue and data regulation practices can be restrictive.

This change was rolled out on 26 April 2021 and has already seen an impact on marketing, with global opt-in rate sitting around 13% as of May 10. But, as of May 20, only 16% of iOS devices worldwide had updated to iOS 14.5. Of those on iOS 14+, over half (57%) still haven’t been given the option by the app developer to opt in or opt out yet, which means these users are in the ‘Not Determined’ state and can’t be tracked according to Apple’s policy. This means the industry hasn’t yet been impacted by the major change in iOS 14+.

As more people decline tracking on their Apple devices, statistical modelling will be used to account for some conversions, interest-based audiences will decrease, as will audiences based on third-party data, and audience cross-over will become more and more difficult to prevent.

Impact on Facebook

What users’ decide to do about their data when prompted on their Facebook or Instagram app will determine which degree your tracking abilities will be restricted. In response to Apple’s prompt, Facebook has been forced to reimagine some aspects of Business Manager. For social media marketers, this means changes to account set-up, targeting, optimisation and reporting.

A few months in, these changes are a lot more tangible. Some impacts you may have noticed in your accounts include:

  • Less reported conversions – Users may still be taking conversion actions on your website, but limited data will be coming back to Facebook Ads Manager. This has impacted how marketers optimise and report on their campaigns. Without accurate in-Facebook data about conversions like Purchases, metrics including Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Average Cart Value are estimated, making optimisation decisions more complex.
  • Declined performance of custom audiences relying on Facebook Pixel – custom audiences which rely on Facebook Pixel and SDK data points (Website Visitors, Cart Abandoners) have become less accurate. As some users opt-out of the prompt, there will be less recorded conversions for events, meaning there will be a smaller pool of users inside these audiences. In theory, this will prevent advertisers from reaching ALL cart abandoners and excluding ALL purchasers.
  • Limitations of 8 events per domain – you only get eight conversion events per domain, with domain verification and event selection to be configured inside Business Manager. These must be configured in order of priority in the Aggregated Events Manager.
  • Deprecated attribution windows – Facebook said goodbye to the default 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows.
  • No more breakdowns for conversion events – While you are still able to view breakdowns for standard performance metrics (Reach, Impressions, CPC), you are no longer able to view which Age Group generated the most Conversions or most efficient Cost Per Conversion.

Impact on Google

The Apple update means users can stop being tracked with an IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers). A handful of Google’s iOS apps, such as Maps & YouTube, have used IDFA for ad tracking, which would require users to grant permission. However, Google will no longer use the IDFA and have instead decided to switch to another Apple tool called the SKAdNetwork. This means Google’s apps will not need to show the opt-in.

SKAdNetwork, in theory, allows marketers to measure conversion rates of app install campaigns for iOS apps without passing along user-level data. Google is providing feedback and hopes the framework improves so advertisers can measure their campaign results accurately on iOS 14+.

Thanks to a diversified ad network and less reliance on mobile revenue (compared to Facebook and Instagram), iOS will not have a major impact on the Google side of things. The key changes to expect in Google Ads are primarily to Google’s Universal App Campaigns on iOS devices. If you do not run these ads, you have less to worry about, but you should still expect some fluctuations in delivery and performance (particularly on any ad campaigns that run on iOS). While the holy grail of Search campaigns remain relatively unaffected, advertisers running Display, YouTube, and Discovery campaigns using interest-based targeting may see a loss of data and a decline in performance. Remarketing lists survive, but there will be less visibility to track effectiveness. Smart-bidding is also likely to be affected, as it uses personal characteristics – such as past conversions – to make decisions on bidding.

Outside of the iOS changes, Google has made its own privacy updates that marketers should be aware of. Google plans to render third-party cookies in chrome obsolete and are confident in moving away from third-party cookies altogether. Instead of tracking individuals and the actions taken, Google will now track groups of people with common interests. This is known as FLoC. FLoC clusters large groups of people with similar interests, which advertisers can then target. It hides individuals in “the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. Google has been trialling FLoC since March 2021, but will pause the trials this July as the European Commission launched an Antitrust investigation. There is some controversy surrounding FLoC and we’re yet to see whether it goes ahead or not – but we have until late 2023 to prepare for it if it does.

What should I do next?

Whether you are advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google, or even a channel unaffected by these changes, it is always important to be ready to adapt and have alternative solutions.

If you are advertising on Facebook and Instagram and haven’t verified your domain, configured your events, or re-evaluated your targeting strategy, now is the time to. You should also consider things like broadening your interest-based audiences at the prospecting level (rather than event-based audiences) and the accuracy of your custom audiences (as this change can reduce tracking of things like cart abandonment). Take a look at using native Facebook and Instagram features to navigate data restrictions as well. Facebook Shops, Lead Forms and Video Ads are all good alternatives which rely on in-app data.

For those advertising on Google, you should continue to monitor campaigns and adjust bids accordingly. Keep an eye on the impacts around tracking and continue to utilise Google Analytics and CRM reports to track as accurately as possible. As mentioned, Google is working on new ways to track results in an effort to minimise the impact of iOS changes. Google offers great options as it can play both the leading and supporting role in marketing efforts. Oh, and if you’re running Universal App Campaigns, definitely upgrade to the latest version of Analytics for Firebase. The good news, and we’ll say it again, is that Google remains mostly untouched by the iOS updates.

Marketers and advertisers should also consider the following changes outside of Facebook and Google:

  • Collect first party data. Please. If these changes have shown us anything, it’s that first party data wins. Optimise your prospecting campaigns to collect emails and build a database. You can then use this however you wish! Upload to Facebook for retargeting or lookalike audience creation. Use your CRM and creative email marketing campaigns to re-engage users.
  • Collect accurate conversions data in your CRM, CMS, and Google Analytics. You will need to cross-check these numbers with your paid advertising campaigns to report accurately and make informed decisions regarding optimisation.
  • Diversify your marketing mix. Brands that rely almost entirely on platform-to-website Facebook and Instagram campaigns to drive conversions will need to reconsider this decision and diversify their digital channels.

For more information on what you can do to combat these ever-evolving changes to your Facebook ads, take a look at our iOS14 Guide.

As the digital marketing world evolves, users are becoming more aware of how closely they are being watched and organisations are responding in kind, attempting to find a balance between helping advertisers and protecting users.

Facebook and Google advertising just got tougher

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