Whether due to economic or political motivations, the UK retail landscape has declined during 2019. With in-store sales falling 3.1% and digital growth down 12.4%, retailers are relying upon the ‘golden quarter’ to boost losses gathered throughout the year.
To ensure brands are able to experience growth during the Christmas period, it is becoming increasingly vital to ensure the full purchase journey is as smooth and tailored as possible. Anything short of this may result in a loss of brand appeal and profitability.
With UK shoppers the most active online spenders in Europe, for British retailers, mastering the digital experience is key to accessing profitable consumers.
However, many brands are unprepared to take on the challenge. Recent reports highlight 18% of Christmas digital plans are yet to be finalised, as the below statistics confirm.
32% of brands admit their website is not ready.
38% of brands admit product descriptions are not ready.
31% of PPC and SEO campaigns are not ready.
43% of brands are yet to begin load testing.
A failure to rectify these issues, can encourage low consumer attraction and website functionality issues - factors which are shown to contribute towards brand switching amongst 43% of consumers.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, as the second busiest UK shopping period outside of December, it is imperative brands adapt now to ensure they are ready and able to capitalise on consumer spending patterns.
This may be achieved by re-focussing your marketing and digital team on the immediate period, hiring an additional permanent set of hands, or even recruiting for a temporary contractor to cover the Christmas period.
Fortunately, for those unprepared brands, as economic conditions encourage low consumer confidence, customers are still likely to hold out for a last minute discount.
Recognising and adapting marketing activities to consumer behaviours will be a key method to ensure profitability during 2019. This is reflective in 64% of brands now pushing high profile activities towards the later half of the festive period, to ensure maximum exposure.
Opting to delay marketing incentives means brands will be unable to reach the 21% of consumers who begin Christmas shopping during October. Spending less on prolonged marketing campaigns, can however benefit those who have struggled financially during 2019, promoting cost efficiency across the business.
Whilst adapting these tactics does not mean brands are guaranteed growth, it is often very easy to try to address the product aspect of Christmas as a priority. Instead, to encourage profitability, brands are increasingly focussing on the full marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) alongside consumer trends to generate maximum return.
For a more detailed chat about current retail trends and how we could help you source the right people to benefit your brand strategy get in touch with our permanent and temporary contract team today.
Header: Paper bags near wall by freestocks.org https://www.pexels.com/photo/paper-bags-near-wall-749353/
Image 1: Three stacked gift boxes with different colors by Pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/anniversary-birthday-bow-box-264985/