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Written by Andréa Williams, Head of Marketing
After so much disruption to our normal lives, it’s refreshing to see headlines outlining increasing footfall, rising consumer confidence and retailers gearing up for a busier than expected peak season.
With the festive season being our first outside of lockdown and the not-so-distant memory of a somewhat quieter Christmas in 2020, shoppers are out for a sensory experience this year, looking for goods that bring people together as socialising and hosting make a comeback. This is expected to bring sales back to pre-pandemic patterns, fuelled by consumers going big on Christmas this year, to make up for the disarray that was 2020.
A pandemic trend that has stuck is the reliance on online retail, as the majority of Christmas sales this year are expected to take place online. However, this doesn’t leave store sales to spurn, with consumers starved of experience and partygoers desperate for social interaction this season; we’re expecting an uplift in hospitality. Not only does increased spend in hospitality increase fashion sales, but it drives footfall to shopping centres where consumers can experience a mix of leisure and hospitality alongside shopping.
Are you prepared for the increased footfall, and desire for social experiences this season? We’ve been supporting our clients in getting ready for peak trade and have prepared a peak trading checklist for you to download for free here. We can help you ensure your systems are primed and ready to run smoothly.
20% of shoppers were browsing for gifts as early as July, demonstrating a levelled-out approach to Christmas shopping this year, a concurring trend with October 2020, which recorded the strongest Y-o-Y sales growth in six years. Additionally, Black Friday sales have slowly become less frantic with a more relaxed approach taken by retailers. Black Friday trends demonstrate a move towards month long deals or no participation at all, as awareness of the unsustainable impact of mass consumerism increases.
This of course plays into the hands of retailers who are aiming to reduce movement throughout the supply chain in an attempt to not cause outright chaos in the lead up to Christmas. Encouraging shoppers to buy earlier than normal (without creating a sense of panic!) drives a consistent flow of purchasing, rather than a melodramatic spike in the last week of November, increasing product availability for customers as retailers can mediate their response to demand.
Through our supply chain solution Merret, we are providing retailers with a central view of stock across many shopping channels, meaning that it can be sourced however and whenever the customer chooses to shop. Efficiency through your supply chain is the key to maximising sales at full price.
For the last-minute shoppers however, retailers can encourage sales to increase in the last weeks leading up to Christmas with click and collect. As postal cut-offs are expected to be set earlier this December, embracing in-store deliveries gives a push to online sales whilst driving footfall in-store. This also frees up capacity in the warehouse as store staff are able to fulfil orders, whilst managing wider demand and strain on supply chains.
Through our supply chain solution, Merret, again retailers are utilising the functionality within the solution to treat stores as distribution hubs and facilitate the uplift in click and collect ordering. With many click and collect shoppers spending an average or 14% more than home deliveries, it’s certainly another area to maximise on sales and make the most of people heading to the high street.
As we step into 2021’s peak trade season with a renewed sense of consumer confidence, however your customers decide to shop, ensure you’re offering them multi-channel, tailored approach that appreciates their need for sentiment through a consistent brand experience.
To hear how Retail Assist can support your in-store experience for flexible and profitable use of your stock, contact us here and one of our experts will be in touch.
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