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Written by Anna Murphy, Communications Lead
As much as many people might be looking forward to 2020 being over, it’s now less than 100 days until Christmas. Just as retailers are releasing and uploading their AW20 new season products, the run up to Christmas (and potentially Black Friday, too) has already begun… Yet, this year is by no means a normal one – so what will this year’s peak trading look like? And do you feel ready?
We love listening to Essential Retail’s Retail Ramble podcast and last week’s topic looked at just this issue. Caroline Baldwin, editor at Essential Retail, was joined by Beth Horn, Facebook’s head of industry for retail and ecommerce to talk about planning for peak trading in the middle of a pandemic.
Beth said: “What’s been most interesting to me is that I think we’ve seen about 5 years of acceleration and growth in 5 or 6 months and so whether that’s on the consumer side of how people are discovering new brands, discovering new products, being more open to trying new things because we’re not shopping the way we used to: we’re not going to the retail park or wandering up and down Oxford Street to pop in and out of shops… the online (world) really needs to rise to meet that new need.
“I think that (factor) was something we were all pointing at as (something) we anticipated really maturing in the next 3-5 years – but it’s here. Looking at how those trends have accelerated and therefore what are the ways that brands can show up (for their customers) slightly differently, be nimble, get comfortable with things being a bit “grey”.
“To be clear, I think the next few months, as we come up towards Christmas, are going to make the months that proceeded it look dull! I think there’s going to be quite a lot on. I think that nimbleness, fluidity and getting comfortable with change are going to be more important now than ever.”
If there’s one thing any retailer can agree on, it’s that 2020 has brought many surprises – both good and bad. So, there will no doubt be many different ways to approach this peak trading season. Some retailers might feel like they want to optimise this opportunity for peak trade to make up for previous “lost” months. Others might look past this specific season to the bigger picture and to the issues that the next few years (and uncertainty) might bring. Perhaps some brands might have been overwhelmed with orders and consumer demand over lockdown that are now feeling uneasy about a potentially huge peak trading season.
Whatever the past few months have brought a particular brand, one question to pose is this: if more people stay at home, how will you share your products? And are you set up to do this effectively?
No-one can be certain of what this COVID-19 world will look like by the time December comes about, but one thing you can bank on is that people will still be buying things online, perhaps more so than ever. With warnings that a second wave is on the way – and the potential lockdowns that could come with it – it’s absolutely vital to get your products online.
Make life easier for your teams: use a PIM solution. We’ve designed OMIO PIM specifically for retail, allowing retailers to easily test new – and digital – marketplaces, whilst improving your products SEO credentials, allowing them to be found much more easily online. (Plus, it’s super easy to use and looks really good, even if we do say so ourselves!)
OMIO PIM is fully scalable, cost effective and we’d love to show you a demo. Get in touch here for a sneaky peek.
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