Tag Archives: Black Friday

High street sales are booming, say new retail figures

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Recent figures from the Office of National Statistic suggest high street retail is booming this autumn, with retail sales up 7.4% year on year in October. With an increase of 1.9% over September, this October saw the highest rate of sales growth since April 2002. Contrary to many who predicted an economic slump after the Brexit vote, and while the UK remains in Europe, retail appears to be in a good place leading up to the most important sales periods of the year: Black Friday and the Christmas Peak.

More good news for retailers is the increasing amount spent in high street stores, with consumers spending 6.6% more in October 2016 compared with last year, and up 2.1% on September. Retailers will be hoping this upward trend continues, increasing consumer spending during the peak sales period. The average weekly spend in October was £7.7 billion, an increase of £500 million year on year, clearly showing consumer confidence in the UK economy has not diminished despite warnings. Furthermore average retail prices fell 0.7% in October year on year, demonstrating how high street competition is dampening the effect of the decreased value of Sterling. Some have intimated that spending may be spiralling out of control, creating the bubble which forced the previous recession. However the lessons learned from back then may be applied.

The ONS report has even more good news for department stores and consumer electronics brands. The report found that 43% of retail sales in October 2016 were in non-food stores, encompassing department stores and household goods. Sales volume for non-retail stores was up 2.8% year on year, highlighting the growing consumer confidence in buying household goods. These figures are perhaps inflated by the weak Sterling which has increased international spending in particular on luxury goods, making that Hermes bag a steal in comparison to the price back home in its native France.

Overall, the ONS report suggests shoppers are ready to spend this Christmas. Of course, brands should not take these figures for granted, as in a highly competitive marketplace it’s still vitally important for brands to make an impact in store and be seen. Millions have been spent by retailers on this season’s Christmas adverts; they are now reliant on the products and brands they range to entice and convert shoppers into customers.

In order to successfully achieve this, all brands should be considering their retail execution at this busy time, especially focusing on education, merchandising and promotion to ‘wow’ shoppers looking for the perfect Christmas gift for themselves or another.

 

Read more at: http://www.innovativeelectricalretailing.co.uk/index.php/high-street-sales-are-booming-say-new-retail-figures/

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It’s Black Friday – I’m in love

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With nearly seven out of 10 retailers (68.9 per cent) expecting Black Friday to become more popular over the coming years in the UK and Ireland, it is likely to remain an important retail event for the foreseeable future.

Cast your mind back to the Armageddon-like scenes of 2014 where people literally fought to secure a bargain and, in some cases, bargains they didn’t want or need.

From a brand perspective, retailer or product, how can you tame Black Friday to continue driving excitement while maintaining a positive customer experience?

The fact is that Black Friday is good for all retailers, irrespective of whether you take part or not. Statistics have shown that UK retail footfall year on year for Black Friday 2014 had an increase of 9.8 per cent overall. When broken down into locations, the high street saw a 7.2 per cent rise, shopping centres an 11.3 per cent rise and retail parks a 14.4 per cent rise. This demonstrates an increase in opportunities to sell not only deals, but also stock items.

Advertise your offers in advance and consider a “by invitation only” VIP Black Friday event for your customer database.

Looking online, use social media and your website to pull customers in-store. Local advertising and banners can help your store stand out from the rest, creating an event to enhance the customer experience and drive excitement.

It’s obvious that you need to make sure you have sufficient stock, perhaps also implement a ticketing system, as people who really want an offer won’t mind waiting if it means they get it without the risk of a scuffle. Also, consider your non-bargain-hunters who may just want to shop – the hordes will only discourage your average shopper.

Place bulk-stack deals near the doors, avoiding obvious security risks, and encourage a flow through your store.

Keep the store busy with offers located in prime positions, supported by staff on hand to carry the item to the till or at least make customers aware of the offer to help shift those boxes. Link sales to other items – while a big-screen TV may be appealing, it still needs an HDMI cable and you’re more likely to make that connection sale if it’s also on offer. Better to attach than not.

Your online sales shouldn’t be excluded – 30 per cent of survey respondents plan to buy online during Black Friday 2015, up from the eight per cent who purchased online in 2014.

Still, consider delivery charges, which can negate any profit made for both you and your customer. One key thing to consider is whether your website can keep up with the pressure of increased traffic. In 2014, 12 per cent of shoppers experienced technical issues when purchasing goods online during the rush. If you are planning to run important deals online, preparing your site to handle large numbers of users will prevent lost sales and angry customers.

Big-box retailers and grocers alike court the publicity and will create PR hubs that achieve those sensationalist, headline-grabbing TV images. It’s therefore important to note that if you put on a Black Friday promotion, it isn’t necessarily going to turn into a bloodbath. However, the increase in footfall and sales is evident but, just in case, do make sure you can still sell on the stock after the event.

Finally, how can your brands help support your promotion or even your event? In crowded categories, Black Friday is an opportunity for many brands to gain distribution and market share through selling end-of-line products. For electrical products, GfK measured a value growth rate year on year of 24 per cent and, not surprisingly, 59 per cent week on week. When broken down by category, Black Friday 2014 average sales increased significantly compared with the week before, with mobile sales up 129 per cent, more notably TV was up 103 per cent and audio up 157 per cent.

This clearly identifies the opportunity for electrical retailers with careful selection of products and brands within your core lines. Working in partnership to leverage sales could work to create a more intelligent and rewarding Black Friday experience for retailers, brands and most importantly consumers.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1NYWNuI

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Brands should take an omnichannel approach this Black Friday

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As we lead up to the festive peak season and retailers are once again preparing for this year’s Black Friday weekend, the omnichannel experience is still a fundamental part of retail strategy. There has already been a number of sources speculating that this year’s sales will break all the records set last year, including predictions that online sales will surpass the £1bn mark, up from £810m in 2014. Notably, the number of consumers shopping online for Black Friday deals is set to increase to 30%, up from 8% last year.

Clearly, we’re beginning to see the growing importance of online leading up to Christmas and Black Friday, itself made popular by Amazon, whose recent Prime event similarly guaranteed orders and revenue. Although last year’s peak season generated a 10% increase in high street footfall compared to previous years, consumers increasingly seem to be going online for their Black Friday deals.
However, despite the growth of online sales, recent research from Gekko shows that nearly three quarters (74.2%) of shoppers benefit from the touch, feel and physical comparison of products when making purchase decisions. This is especially the case with high ticket electrical items such as a smart TVs or washing machines, where 67% of shoppers are likely or very likely to buy in a physical store, compared with only 46% who would consider buying online. Moreover, more than half (56.8%) of consumers prefer to head onto the high street so that they can seek advice when making a considered purchase.

In an increasingly connected retail landscape, in-store retail sales are gradually feeling more of an impact from online, especially with smart phones offering shoppers a way to price check in their pocket. Barclays recently predicted that 42% of all retail sales will involve a mobile device in some way over the next ten years, clearly showing how brands will need to integrate their online and retail offerings to create consistent branding and the omnichannel experience we now expect.

This peak period, brands need to ensure that their sales and promotions take into account the omnichannel nature of retail today. While online sales will certainly be a focus this year in light of increasing numbers of dedicated online consumers, brands should not neglect the legions of shoppers that will descend on the high street, often using their smart phone to ensure that the deal their considering isn’t cheaper online.

Making sure that your branding in store matches that of your online offering will ensure that the 54% of shoppers that like to research products online before buying in store will continue their customer journey to buy your brand. Placing brand ambassadors in store to support your peak promotions are proven to assist customers looking to purchase considered items, supporting the majority of consumers who want to experience a product or ask advice before making a decision.

Whether buying online or in store, Black Friday is guaranteed to make the headlines this year, either for record sales or for more riots in supermarkets over discount appliances – perhaps it will be both. Black Friday is now a retail institution, which begins the Christmas peak shopping period for both retailers and brands.

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Staff key to a successful peak period

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With last year’s Black Friday generating a 10 per cent increase in footfall compared to previous years, research from Gekko highlights the need to recruit and train in-store brand ambassadors to maximise in-store opportunities for the 2015 peak festive period.

A staggering 50 per cent of shoppers said that there is often not enough staff on the shop floor to help them when making a purchase decision. There is also concern over the manner of in-store staff, with over half (52%) of shoppers complaining that they are too pushy about making a sale.

Despite the growth of online sales, nearly three quarters (74.2%) of shoppers benefit from the touch, feel and physical comparison of products when making purchase decisions. A quarter (26.35%) of shoppers buy in-store when they are purchasing items they need to think about and choose carefully and over half (56.8%) head in-store for advice when making a considered purchase.

Sarah Mandeville, recruitment manager at Gekko believes that staff hold the key to converting sales during the peak-time rush:

“Whether they are full-time or temporary over the peak period, retail staff must demonstrate passion for the product and the ability to make a positive impression on shoppers. In-store is a vital touch-point for consumers, and retailers need to ensure that their staff are trained to maximise every opportunity. In a competitive landscape, which is heightened during peak, a retailer will only get one chance with the consumer.”

To manage the peak-period, here are five important action points for retailers to get the most out of their staff:

1. Allow time for training – Speed is often important when training temporary staff in the run-up to Christmas. However, staff will be more motivated and likely to convert more sales if they are immersed in the role. Take time to build your team’s knowledge and understanding of the brand, company background and product range. In an omnichannel environment, where shoppers can obtain product information using their smartphone, your brand ambassadors must know more than just the product they are selling.

2. Ongoing support – Training shouldn’t just be delivered at the beginning of the peak-period. Once the staff are in place, ongoing revision, recaps and coaching should be continued to keep the team sharp on sales messaging and promotions.

3. Create a team environment – staff may not all work on the same days or in the same locations. Using group chat or social tools such as Facebook or Google Hangouts can help to communicate simultaneously and build communities. To lead the team environment, allocate a mentor as a point of contact to motivate and be contacted at any time.

4. Don’t just motivate with money – Monetary incentives can be short-lived. To motivate the team, it’s worth creating friendly competition with leader boards and prizes. This can be a fun way to build a positive attitude among the workforce.

5. Treat everyone the same – To make employees feel part of the team, employers need to treat temporary staff as though they are full-time employees. Putting effort into training and making temporary staff feel part of a larger team can be a motivating factor for staff in itself.

Read more at: http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-news/research-shows-retailers-could-suffer-over-peak-period-with-lack-of-in-store-staff/2622

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