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Black Friday 2018: Consumers are Eager, More Digital, and Willing to Spend – Research from Periscope® By McKinsey

October 11th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

More than 70% of surveyed consumers in the UK, US, Germany and Canada are aware of Black Friday and plan to take part in 2018.

Periscope® By McKinsey, which offers a suite of Marketing & Sales Analytics Solutions to help companies achieve sustainable revenue growth, has announced the findings of research on consumer sentiment towards Black Friday 2018. Carried out in late September 2018, it explores how they plan to shop, what they intend to buy, how much they anticipate spending, and whether they’ll be heading in-store or online to make those purchases.

Including research data from UK, US, Germany and Canada, this year’s report is titled “Black Friday 2018 Shopping Report: Consumers are Eager, More Digital, and Willing to Spend”. Its findings reveal that, with retailers outside the US now participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, discounting practices are stimulating ever greater consumer participation. For example, in Europe just 19% of UK respondents had participated in Black Friday back in 2015 – compared to an impressive 54% in 2017. It was a similar story in Germany, with 9% of consumers getting involved in 2015 – jumping to 43% in 2017. In Canada, consumer participation has shown similarly impressive gains, growing from 26% in 2015 to 48.5% in 2017– and an anticipated 81% saying they plan to shop or browse in 2018.  Anticipation in the other surveyed regions is also high, with 77% of respondents saying that they too plan to shop or browse at this year’s event and consider making a purchase if the price is right.

Positive Attitudes – Consumers Expect to Encounter Enticing One-Off Promotions and Deals

Asked to evaluate the top motivational factors for participating in Black Friday 2018, 54% or more of consumers in all countries surveyed said taking advantage of steep discounts was their #1 reason. The opportunity to encounter unique ‘one off’ promotions was the second most motivating factor for consumers, followed closely by making Christmas gift purchases.

Looking at other factors, it’s interesting to note that expectations among European consumers in relation to receiving personalized offers from retailers that incentivize them to make purchases appears particularly strong; 22% of German and 21% of UK shoppers listed personalized messages as being a key consideration for them. Meanwhile, 14% of US and 11% of Canadian shoppers highlighted this as being an important motivational factor – highlighting how a growing number of shoppers have come to welcome and expect personalized messages and offers for this mega event.

The Product Categories Consumers Intend to Shop – And Their Changing Channels Preferences

This year Clothing moved ahead of all other categories to take the top spot on consumer shopping lists in all countries we surveyed, pushing Consumer Electronics into second place. While online leads strongly as the primary method consumers plan to use when shopping for Consumer Electronics, 50% of shoppers in Canada and 54% in the US still prefer offline shopping when it comes to selecting new clothes.Movies, Books and Music emerged as the third most popular product category for 33% of US and 39% of Canadian shoppers, while 40% of consumers in Germany and 42% of UK shoppers plumped for Beauty and Fragrances.

Even in ‘big ticket’ categories where consumers have traditionally exhibited in-store/offline purchasing behaviors – such as Furniture, Household Appliances and Cars – there are indications that a growing number of consumers are now prepared to head online to snap up Black Friday deals. However, consumers are still voting with their feet and heading in-store when it comes to Grocery and Beverages, with an average of 45% of all respondents stating that they prefer to shop offline for these items. When it comes to online shopping, that number drops to 15% or below with the exception of the UK where 27% of consumers showed a higher interest in purchasing their grocery items and beverages online.

Limited Consumer Pre-Planning Presents a Major Opportunity for Retailers

Despite stating a clear objective to participate in Black Friday, consumers appear to be keeping their options wide open when it comes to exactly what they will purchase – and from whom. Asked to evaluate their pre-Black Friday shopping preparations, an average of 82% respondents in all countries surveyed admitted doing no, or very little, pre-planning with regards to which stores or products they’ll seek out on the day. All of this indicates that consumers are prepared to play the waiting game in anticipation of truly tempting offers that capture their attention or incentivize them to make a purchase.

Consumers Allocate Sizeable Shopping Budgets for This Year’s Black Friday Purchases

Once again, this year’s research indicates consumers are planning to spend even more on purchases compared to previous years, reaffirming Black Friday’s increasingly pre-eminent position as one of the most significant revenue generating opportunities in the retail calendar:

  • 16% of US shoppers expect to spend $1000 or more ––with a sizeable 22% budgeting $500 for Black Friday purchases
  • 14% of Canadian shoppers have allocated $1000 or more in Black Friday sales, with a further one-fifth (20%) expecting to spend $500
  • The majority of UK shoppers (37%) are budgeting between £200 and £300 to make Black Friday purchases
  • Similarly, 21% of German shoppers expect to spend €200, with a further 14% setting aside €300 for purchases

Brian Elliott, Founder, Senior Advisor & Head of Innovation of Periscope By McKinsey, said, “Black Friday has become an established feature of the retail calendar on both sides of the Atlantic – one that has dramatically changed the way people shop in the run-up to Christmas.  In return, consumers have changed the core DNA of the event from a traditional, in-store base to a global and digital one.   This year, consumers are clearly eager, ready and willing to participate and shop this Black Friday via multiple channels.  Retailers and brands looking to extract maximum value from this ‘golden’ opportunity should ensure they start early to stimulate the wants and needs of their customers and activate their data with advanced analytics systems for targeted and personal campaigns the closer the event comes to attract high numbers of shoppers – and secure big basket orders.”

Download the survey report “Black Friday 2018 Shopping Report: Consumers are Eager, More Digital, and Willing to Spend” that accompanies the research via this link.

Queue-it expects millions in queue for Black Friday

August 29th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Virtual waiting room SaaS Queue-it expects millions of retail consumers will wait online to access an ecommerce website this Black Friday

Danish virtual waiting room technology provider Queue-it that alleviates website overload, announced new statistics that reveal information about how ecommerce companies are increasingly preventing website failures and enhancing their customers’ shopping experience on Black Friday.

Based on data pulled from its top ecommerce customers, Queue-it found that over the 2017 Black Friday weekend, 60 million end-users went through one of the online queues set up by its customers, an 18% increase over 2016. If its customers experience similar growth this year, 2018 could see over 70 million end-users pass through an online queue. With such unprecedented online attention, ecommerce businesses have to prepare in advance to avoid traffic-induced website and app failure.

“Even with a compressed event like Black Friday, precisely predicting the timing of online traffic peaks is difficult to nail down,” says Co-founder and CCO, Camilla Ley Valentin. “With Black Friday ecommerce sales just around the corner, we expect to see an exponential increase in the number of end-users that will go through our customers’ virtual waiting rooms. We will be closely monitoring the situation to spot the trends in website and app traffic increases over the Black Friday weekend,” says Camilla.

Queue-it’s customer base includes hundreds of top international ecommerce enterprises worldwide, who offer a variety of products to consumers online and in-store. These customers depend on Queue-it to help maintain their website function during business-critical sales and campaigns such as Black Friday or the Holiday season.

“We switched on the virtual waiting room during Black Friday, to make sure we have an insurance against failures on our online shop. Using the system as a safety net, provided us with the possibility of evaluating our traffic and helped us learn our new infrastructure. The support was very personal, and the Queue-it team was even on hand during the event,” says Ziggy Fried, Head of Engineering and Product Development, Harvey Nichols.

In our connected world, ecommerce websites and apps are expected to be available 24/7, and traffic can come at any time. An ideal solution for preventing website and app failure this Black Friday would serve as a safety net, monitoring and responding to traffic spikes around the clock.

Start before September to maximise Black Friday 2018 – optimum timeline

August 28th, 2018 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Al Keck, MD of Infinity Nation gives us his overview of how to plan for Black Friday.

For the major retailers, Black Friday planning starts almost 12 months before, on 1st December. The more time retailers can allow to plan and implement activity, the better. And it’s not just for the big brands; we’ve seen that early planning is a consistent feature of high performing retailers, large or small.

We analysed the retail businesses we work with and those who started working on their strategy after September, on average, had revenue growth of 8 percent YoY. Businesses who started before September had a much more lucrative period, seeing revenue growth averaging a sizeable 102 percent YoY.

If the trend for implementing a ‘Black Friday week’ continues, as we think it will, retailers should be ready to push the button to respond quickly to competitor activity. And alongside online activity, ensure the logistical side marries up, such as accounting for additional demand for key promoted stock.

If you haven’t yet started planning for Black Friday 2018, schedule some time aside and start today. Based on our experience, here’s the optimum Black Friday 2018 countdown timeline:

Immediately: Mobile Optimisation 
Ensure your site is mobile-optimised and that your Black Friday offers page is optimised for SEO. By doing this first, you are allowing time to gain traction. Alongside mobile-first and SEO optimisation, see that your Black Friday comms strategy is nailed, taking into account last year’s learnings.

18 weeks: Data Capture 
Make sure you are capturing new data for retargeting and CRM activity.

16 weeks: Comms Calendar Organisation                                                                                                                        

Ensure your comms calendar is fully mapped in a clear and coherent manner, allowing for category activity (e.g. 20% off this category) and discounts on product combinations.

15 weeks: Internal Communication

Liaise with your team and ensure they understand your activity plans.

14 weeks: External Communication
Speak with your hosting provider to make sure the site will stand up to a spike in traffic to avoid any loss in sales due to technical malfunctions.

12 weeks: PPC

Start optimising your PPC campaigns.

10 weeks: Digital Communications 

Build all of your digital communications including emails and online ads.

5 weeks: Social Media

Plan Facebook retargeting and prospecting.

2 weeks: Competitor Activity 

Monitor for competitor activity. Be ready to react quickly and push the button on your campaign.

1 week: Begin Trading 
Push Black Friday activity live and start trading.

Black Friday: The Final Push

1 week after Black Friday: Christmas Planning 

Now’s the time to plan the run into Christmas. There are just four weekends to go, so there’s a lot of trading to do over this period. A clear and enticing plan is the best way forward towards success.

4 weeks after Black Friday: Evaluate your 2018 

It’s important to capture learnings to implement your successful strategies in 2019 Black Friday activity and to also learn from any mistakes.

“That’s Crackers!” surge in Christmas film searches set seasonal shoppers off earlier every year

July 31st, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Brands to benefit from a longer inspiration window as shoppers search for festive films in early August
  • ‘Attenborough Effect’ creeps into Christmas with a rise in sustainable searches
  • eBay Advertising launches Christmas Tracker tool for brand planning

Next Monday marks the beginning of Christmas shopping season, according to new insights released by eBay Advertising, kickstarting a fruitful five months for brands.

Searches for “Christmas” in the DVD, Films and TV category on ebay.co.uk shot up by almost two thirds (63%) during the second week of August last year, compared to the week before – proving it’s never too early to think about Christmas. In fact, shoppers made two searches for “Christmas” every second on eBay in August – some 4 months before the day itself.

And the festive film flurry appears to be starting earlier each year, with this initial surge having taken place in August’s third week in 2017 and fourth week in 2016 – suggesting the mid-summer months are the perfect time to engage consumers with top of the funnel inspiration.

Sustainable Santa

Shoppers appear to be dreaming of a green, rather than white, Christmas – no doubt a product of the well-documented ‘Attenborough Effect’. Searches for “reusable straws” and “reusable coffee cup” soared between 2017 and 2018 – up 375% and 257% respectively from the second half of one year to the other – highlighting the spend to be won by brands that adapt to societal trends.

And it’s not just millennials seeking to save the planet, as shoppers aged 18-34 accounted for just 23% of searches for “reusable coffee cups”, with over 35s providing the other 77% in the second half of 2018.

2019 Christmas Tracker

To help marketers get a head start with planning their Christmas campaigns, eBay Advertising has launched its 2019 Christmas Tracker – predicting the peak windows of opportunity across categories:

Finding the right Christmas party outfit is top of shoppers’ to do lists, as Instagram culture puts even greater pressure on consumers to look picture perfect during the festive season.

‘Christmas’ searches in the Clothes, Shoes and Accessories category on ebay.co.uk shot up in the second week of October, up 107% compared to the month before. And interest in the category peaked in early December and remained significant until the week before Christmas, giving brands in this space the earliest and longest window of opportunity to engage.

From going out to staying in, shoppers are also looking to create a cosy home, with ‘Christmas’ searches in the Home, Furniture and DIY category surging through November. Consumers prepping to settle in for the winter months increased searches in the category by 17% in the third week of November last year, compared to the previous week, showing a rapid rise in interest as Christmas gets closer.

While consumers prepare their homes for friends and family early, the Computers/Tablets and Networking category saw one of the latest surges in ‘Christmas’ searches through the Christmas period. With Black Friday 2018 taking place w/c 19th November, our findings are consistent with the notion that shoppers buy for themselves during the Black Friday weekend before returning their focus to gift buying the week after.

Mike Klinkhammer, Director of Advertising Sales EU, eBay, commented: “Consumers are thinking about Christmas earlier and earlier each year, and the beloved festive film is a perfect indicator of when this merry mindset begins. Shopping might not be top of the agenda at this stage, but marketers can reap significant reward if they maximise this time to inspire consumers.

“We’re seeing what’s almost a 70-day window for shoppers looking at Christmas items, but each category has varying starts, finishes and peak weeks. With that in mind, a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing during this time will ultimately be ineffective. Marketers need to tailor their approach according to consumer behaviour, whether that’s kicking things off early to cater for summer searches or running advertising campaigns for longer than usual to target last minute shoppers.”

“Our insights have also shown a rise in new shopping trends, such as more ecological shopping behaviour. Brands should ensure they have access to up-to-date insights to help them mould their marketing strategy, as consumer behaviour continues to change and evolve year on year.”

Pauline Robson, Managing Partner, MediaCom, commented: “Brands should certainly consider an early start for their marketing efforts if they want to take advantage of consumers in a festive frame of mind. By using a combination of search, display and paid social channels to share early messaging through the summer months, brands can lay the groundwork for a more effective fourth quarter where shopping tends to pick up. Advertisers can then re-engage them with more tailored, product-led ads based on previously viewed items – safe in the knowledge that potential customers will be familiar with their brand and offer from an outreach earlier in the year.”

CACI announces series of exclusive partnerships to enhance understanding of customer spend and movement

June 18th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

CACI, the consumer and location intelligence specialist, has announced a series of new global partners whose data will assist CACI in providing a market leading understanding of the customer dynamics of place, with a focus on how visitors live, work and play across retail, leisure and more. CACI has partnered with a leading multi-national bank and Telefonica to provide data for the Location Dynamics platform – the most innovative platform for understanding consumers engagement with place. Coupling demographic ‘big data’ with our existing suite of Micro-Location Data allows CACI to depict how people engage in space; both in the centre and across the catchment, and within the competition across the globe.

Working with one of the top four banks in the UK, CACI can uniquely combine a high level of anonymous spend data with CACI’s proprietary Acorn classification system, unlocking both real world spend and demographics whilst maintaining anonymity. This offer is unique to CACI and allows retailers, landlords and businesses to understand distribution of actual consumer spend by product sector, demographic and product category over time.

In addition, by partnering with O2 Motion to connect anonymous data from users of the Telefonica network with Acorn, CACI will be able to understand and identify how consumers engage with place. Providing coverage of customer movements throughout the year, between their home, work and leisure, CACI can unlock the user profile of all demographics within a destination, how they vary by time of day, day of week and time of year, and most crucially – why consumers engage with space.

The final partnership pillar provides an understanding of people within a location, and sees CACI working with multiple suppliers of micro level anonymous mobile data derived from a broad suite of mobile apps. This insight is used by CACI to view movements of visitors within a specific place to understand the customer dynamics of a destination and how people move through it, which stores are visited, and how visitors engage.

Alex McCulloch, Director of CACI Property Consulting Group, said: “By connecting Acorn to our global partners’ understanding of spend and movement, CACI is able to see why consumers behave as they do and strengthen our position as market leaders in understanding who the customer is; how they engage with place; and crucially why they choose specific destinations and brands. We are able to look at the impact of specific events, such as Black Friday, sporting events or marketing launches and how these impact behaviours, as well as how shopper profile changes by hour.

“Acorn is the key that unlocks these big datasets and makes them relevant to brands and customers, we have created a unique offer translating complex big market data with CACI’s unrivalled understanding of the customer, whilst retaining full GDPR compliance and individual anonymity. CACI has already delivered projects utilising all three datasets simultaneously to FTSE 100 companies, this unique blend of cutting edge geolocation data, paired with our market leading consumer classification allows companies to unlock the GenZ consumer.”

The news follows research that used mobile data to reveal the positive impact of major annual events on consumer behaviour, looking at how patterns of behaviour change during major tourism events such as the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe create a commercial opportunity for retail and F&B businesses in the city bigger than Christmas in terms of consumer spend.

Record-breaking year for fulfilmentcrowd

May 29th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Fulfilment services and technology provider, fulfilmentcrowd, has reported record-breaking growth in the financial year ending 31st March 2019, with the Chorley-headquartered company increasing its turnover by 42% to £6.7 million.

Strong customer acquisition, supported by the burgeoning eCommerce sector, a rebrand and upgraded software platform, saw fulfilmentcrowd welcome on board 115 new clients during the last 12 months. This represents a fourfold increase on the previous year, which was driven largely by the benefits of fulfilmentcrowd’s new onboarding platform.

Growth has been particularly strong in the health, beauty and fashion retail sectors.

fulfilmentcrowd’s future success will be driven by its innovative sharing model, which provides elastic storage and dispatch capacity through a network of Fulfilment Network Partner centres (“FNPs”). Total managed capacity now stands at 95,000 sq ft across six UK sites, with more than 25,000 items dispatched per day in surge conditions such as Black Friday.

Sales and marketing director, Lee Thompson, is pleased with progress and explains: “We have proven a radically new approach to eCommerce logistics and this will soon take on an international flavour with the opening of new partner centres across the globe, putting us in a great position to sustain our growth post-Brexit.

“Importantly, our turnover growth is driving better margins as we leverage higher volumes and world-leading technology to make productivity gains across the business. However, this will not be at any cost and our recently-introduced Lorax initiative will ensure sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Our objective is to become the UK’s first fully sustainable fulfilment provider by 2021 supported by investment in renewables, reduced energy consumption, elimination of plastic waste and low-emission delivery.”

3 Reasons temporary distribution operations are becoming a permanent fixture in E-commerce

May 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Joe Farrell, Vice President of International Operations at PFS

Thanks to affordable short-term leases and advances in technology, the concept of pop-up facilities in retail is presenting brands in the UK with an agile alternative to traditional commerce operations. Whilst retailers large and small have been embracing the modern pop-up since 1999, the concept of the pop-up distribution centre is still a fairly new one. Here are 3 reasons temporary distribution operations are becoming a permanent fixture in E-commerce.

1. Increased flexibility

With service level expectations only getting harder and harder to meet – having a flexible approach to order fulfilment is crucial. For the majority of consumers, next day delivery is a standard requirement and retailers who can’t keep up with this risk losing out to the competition.

Due to their flexible nature, non-traditional fulfilment methods such as pop-up distribution centres and space-on-demand warehousing could provide a flexible and cost-effective solution to this. Pop-up distribution centres can be deployed anywhere across the globe and help online retailers get their products closer to the customer. Current ambiguity over the effect Brexit will have on cross-border trading, means that it is more important than ever for brands to be agile and able to respond quickly to the growing needs of today’s consumer.

2. Quick to implement

Alternative fulfilment technologies can also be extremely effective when scaling up. Whilst the rise of social commerce has offered brands an easy and quick way of reaching their customers, it is also transforming current expectations in relation to delivery. If customers can order products at a click of a ‘Buy Now’ button, then they expect the delivery experience to be just as quick and seamless.

Pop-up shops in this instance could be the answer for brands who may not have the right infrastructure, ability or expertise in-house to react to customer demand. The flexibility of this solution can also allow growing brands to test the waters in new geographies and approach new audiences without having to commit to a permanent facility, reducing initial capital outlay and representing better value for money.

3. Perfect for peak

Keeping up with peak demand and seasonal events such as Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be extremely challenging for e-tailers. Often brands will find that their current facilities will not support peak volumes and that extra warehousing will be needed. Designing and implementing another permanent facility can be costly and extremely time-consuming and often brands will find themselves with very little time to react. Pop-up distribution centres take little time to implement and at a low cost can be tested during off-peak periods.

Whilst it could be perceived as a ‘short-term’ or ‘temporary’ solution to online order fulfilment, the pop-up distribution centre is a very necessary tool for the multitude of businesses looking to compete in the current volatile retail landscape. Due to their flexible and low-cost nature, retailers embracing pop-ups will be able to enter new markets without the need for permanent investment. By doing so brands can serve customers quicker and more accurately, resulting in increased customer retention and a strong ROI.

Implementation of non-traditional fulfilment methods, underpinned by technology, will be key to success in today’s fast-paced and competitive retail landscape. Ultimately, being able to reach customers quickly and efficiently will be key to successful growth in the retail sector.

The retail technology and trends worth your time this year

April 29th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Benoit Boudier, Managing Director, SMB Online Europe, Ingenico ePayments.

The internet presents a wealth of opportunity for retailers – opportunity, but too many opportunities. In the struggle to make a splash next to the big online retailers, many growing businesses don’t know which trends to invest in and which ones to bypass. To succeed, they need advice to help them navigate the complexities of the digital arena.

So, what do growing retailers need to know? Let’s discuss.

Comply with changing regulations

Coming up in September, we will see Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) implemented under PSD2. This will have a major impact on merchants operating online – it will require their customers to authenticate themselves with at least two of the three following methods on every electronic transaction within the EU:

  • Something they know, like a PIN
  • Something they have, like the customer’s own mobile or laptop
  • Something they are, like a fingerprint or facial recognition

Understanding what the latest regulations mean for your business and customers is crucial for smaller retail operations to grow and thrive online.

Harness peak sales days

Peak sales days present a fantastic opportunity for budding eTailers to start building a loyal digital customer base. According to our recent pan-European study on peak sales periods like Black Friday, a quarter of online shoppers prefer small retailers during such events, rather than larger players.

There’s a simple reason for this. Competing in the ecommerce industry isn’t just about price. A quarter of respondents favoured other incentives such as unique products, loyalty and referral bonuses, an extended returns or exchange window, or free next-day shipping.

With this in mind, merchants should prepare well in advance for their own peak sales ventures, whether that be a universal day like Black Friday or a merchant-specific day like a hot sale for a brand new product. Planning way ahead can help open up the customer pool and entice potential overseas customers.

Engage with millennials

One of the tech trends making ripples in the eCommerce industry at the moment is conversational commerce – like chatbot technology. But is it strong enough to create waves? Chatbots can be used for a host of things, not just product advice and customer service, but payments too.

By paying through chatbots, younger consumers are much less likely to abandon their purchase compared to when they’re transferred to external web browsers. This is something Ingenico has seen first-hand, with our retail partners experiencing a six-fold boost in conversion when piloting chatbots, versus a mobile website. Using such technologies, small merchants can make themselves as appealing as possible for younger audiences, helping them stand out from the crowd.

Keeping up with the trends

Going online is not that different from setting up a brick-and-mortar store. Throughout history, consumers have needed to see the products they want to buy, and to trust the shops they are buying from.

The internet is no different. By understanding the trends, and harnessing the right partners and technology, small merchants can ensure their business provides an unbeatable experience for consumers, so they can truly thrive online.

Short-Term Discounting Causing Long-Term Effects for Retailers

January 31st, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Mike Callender, Executive Chairman, REPL Group & Diane Wehrle, Retail Intelligence Expert, Springboard

Historically, retailers could look forward to regular calendar dates when footfall would increase and the sales would roll in. Previously, Boxing Day, Easter and Bank Holidays, were key dates in retailers’ calendars, holding the promise of profit.

However, in recent years, as shopping habits have changed, the importance of these dates has faded. Now, records are showing a year-on-year decline in footfall and sales over the Christmas period have dropped. According to Springboard, sales across all major store categories declined by 5.6% in December 2018 from December 2017.

This comes as shoppers look to Black Friday to fulfil all their Christmas shopping needs and bag a bargain and are putting pressure on stores to maintain these low prices all-year-round, despite profits already struggling.

Springboard’s retail intelligence expert Diane Wehrle commented: “Sales driven by discounting are now the norm. It’s expected, especially in the run-up to particular times of the year like Christmas. As consumers, we’re all guilty of thinking ‘Only 10%? I think I’ll wait until they reduce the item I want by 20%’. This is a serious issue for retailers as lower margins inhibit investment.”

Ultimately, this is unsustainable and is resulting in retailers fighting against each other in a competitive market to win over consumers.

Yet, rather than focusing on discounting and the race to the bottom, retailers should be working together to look at the reasons people enjoy the in-store experience. They must entice consumers back to the high street.

We have even seen from the success of retailers that have refused to cut prices and come out on top in the Christmas sales figures that discounts aren’t always necessary to attract customers. In fact, many retailers that have been engaging in what’s frequently being referred to as “short-term reactive discounting” have failed to see the same success.

“This reactive discounting might be a quick fix, but, in the long term, it won’t achieve the results retailers desire and will leave them without the funds needed to invest to improve the situation”, added Mike Callender, Executive Chairman, REPL Group. “Instead, retailers must begin to adopt new technology, work to understand the drivers behind falling footfall and spend and respond to the changing retail landscape.”

According to Diane, “By facing the challenge head-on and establishing the type of differentiation that consumers now demand, retailers can ensure that the high street doesn’t just survive, but thrives.”

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