Throughout lockdown spending habits of the consumer have changed dramatically – and this could lead us to a ‘new normal’ of shopping. With Black Friday quickly looming businesses are having to change the way they run, especially if they want to make the most of the upcoming sales event.
So what do we know? And how can we use this to prepare for what is ahead? We have had a look at some stats and hopefully we are here to offer some advice and guidance for those offering the online retail experience.
4 Things we already know
1. In-store shopping hasn’t recovered
Even though shops have (finally) reopened there is still a dramatic drop in footfall…a massive 39% in comparison to last year.
Alongside this, 40% of the in-store shoppers have stated that the experience is no longer enjoyable – being unable to try on clothes, following a one way system and the endless queues are putting those who have given it a go, right off the in-store experience.
With so many turning to online shopping are you, as the retailer, prepared for this? Can you keep up the demand at your current warehouse? Do your suppliers know about the potential influx of orders?
2. Online business is booming
During lockdown Brits spent a massive £40bn online with an average UK adult spending £771 on non-essential items such as a paddling pool, multiple home decor items or a mini fridge they most definitely didn’t need.
Obviously, at the beginning of lockdown, it was predicted that online spending would increase and they were definitely right. It is also estimated that 17.2 million UK consumers (25% of the population) will make permanent changes to the way they shop. This leads to the estimate that online retail sales will increase by an additional £4.5bn in 2020 in comparison to 2019.
Apart from being unable to hit the stores, the key purchase drivers have been free delivery, good availability and a reasonable price. Are your online worlds reflecting that? Ensure your inventory is managed effectively and you are not continuously running out of stock or charging a ridiculous amount for delivery – consumers now have time to find another online store! Make the process of buying from your online store an easy one - anything that causes the consumer to make more effort or confuses them will lead to a loss in sales.
3. The most wonderful time of year
With 2020 being all over the place, many consumers will begin to plan their Christmas budgets – as well as starting their shopping early. With a potential second lockdown people are swaying towards the idea of sending extras presents in replacement of being able to see friends and family.
57% of consumers still plan to make purchases on big shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday – especially as many are trying to buy cost effectively this year. Having a big sale will be a huge driving force to increase retail sales this year.
The next couple of months leading up to the Christmas period are quite frankly, going to be chaos. Are you prepared? Can you keep up with ongoing and relentless ordering by consumers? You may have to consider outsourcing your fulfilment for events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday to keep up with demand. Have you considered this before? Drop us a line if you are considering it and we will point you in the right direction.
4. Delivering happiness
Many companies have long relied on reviews and recommendations but in times like these it has never been so important to receive positive feedback.
Offering same-day dispatch and/or next day delivery is a massive selling point for consumers – potentially turning them into a buyer. Remember, this can be an expensive method of shipping, so let us know whether you need alternative courier options!! We have many contacts in the delivery world, making the most of our excellent rates could change the way you are able to ship your products to customers.
Another issue with online shopping for retailers is the returns process. It is all well and good sending out the products to consumers but what if they are returned? Do you have a process to deal with items being sent back? This can be a lengthy and time-consuming process – can your staff keep up with it? If you are unsure have a chat with us regarding returns and how best to deal with them in a cost-effective manner. We make our clients lives easier by dealing with instances such as this – meaning it is something you do not ever have to worry about!!
Black Friday is most probably going to be a crazy, chaotic, busy yet rewarding day. But are you prepared? If you aren’t then it will be a downward spiral from that point all the way to Christmas. This is a perfect opportunity to outsource your logistics and fulfilment to an experienced, friendly and reliable service so don’t hesitate to give us a call!
We have just moved to our brand new warehouse with lots of space for products, picking and packing. Drop us an email, give us a call or contact us via our social media channels to find out how we can help make your life so much easier, at such a difficult time.