Retailers are in for a bumper festive season
British retailers are in for a bumper festive season, with booming consumer confidence and early promotions set to spark a November shopping surge, according to research.
Exterion Media, Europe’s largest privately held Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising business, has drawn insights from its award-winning work.shop.play. consumer panel, which surveys 10,000 urbanites across the UK, to forecast retail trends for the festive period. It predicts that shoppers will take advantage of early in-store discounts and utilise mobile to get the best deals, and today encouraged brands to incorporate mobile technology such as location data into their marketing strategies..
“Our survey showed a third of shoppers began buying Christmas gifts in November last year. With consumer confidence at its highest since the Credit Crunch, and increased consumer awareness of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we can expect to see shoppers on the front foot for their Christmas shopping this year,” Jason Cotterrell, Managing Director UK, Exterion Media, said.
“A quarter of shoppers told us they took part in discount days last year, including Black Friday. This suggests retailers will be under increased pressure this year to add value to the customer experience in order to maintain the momentum throughout the festive period and drive in-store sales.”
According to the Centre for Retail Research, UK sales for the 2014 Christmas trading period reached £74.2 billion; a 2.2% increase on the previous year. Cotterrell expects that figure will rise exponentially this year as consumers capitalise on new technology to complement their shopping experience.
“Where we’ll see the biggest difference this year is in the use of smartphones as the perfect shopping companion. Of those we surveyed, 92% told us they did their shopping last Christmas in-store, and two-thirds said they used their mobile phone to assist their shopping experience, including finding store locations, product information and online reviews".
“Mobile provides the key for quickly and conveniently navigating the busy high streets to search out the best deals and our assets act as a final prompt before purchase to sell these brands and gift ideas. The most successful retailers will be those who harness online, Out-of-Home and in-store channels, engaging shoppers while they’re on the move or on public transport, and offering services such as click and collect to entice greater foot traffic to their stores,” Cotterrell added.
The research also found that more than 40% of shoppers squeezed their Christmas shopping in after work; a third popped out to shop during their lunchbreak, while two thirds said they did their shopping at the weekend.