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UK social media ad spend up 51.1% in Q3

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

UK ad spend on Facebook and Instagram grew 51.1% year-over-year during the third quarter of 2021, fuelled by a 32% growth between Q2 and Q3.

According to Emplifi’s State of Social Media and CX report as ad spend increased, advertising costs also continued to climb with Cost-Per-Clicks (CPCs) reaching their highest level since late 2020.

Meanwhile, advertisers’ Click-Through-Rates (CTRs) have remained stable with only slight fluctuations since this time last year. Global data indicates that Facebook ad reach climbed 3.7% year-over-year. However, in the UK, Facebook ad reach increased by 6% year-over-year, and by 17% between Q2 and Q3.

Video has been front of mind for UK marketers for many years, and it has seen a further increase in popularity this third quarter. When it comes to organic performance on Facebook within the eCommerce category, Facebook Live Video generated a median of 11 interactions per post, while Images gave 6 median interactions per post.

Video is also a cost-effective option – again, in eCommerce, the lowest CPC is with Facebook Video Feeds, followed by Facebook News Feed and Instagram Stories. The lowest CPM (cost per thousand) is with Facebook Video Feeds, followed by Instagram Stories and Facebook Instream Video. As brands pick up the pace with live shopping and social commerce, it’s not surprising to see similar results in the retail category – Facebook Live Video was also the highest performer, with 22 median interactions per post (up from 13 median interactions in the previous quarter).

“While it’s true brands are having to invest more of their advertising dollars to reach consumers across social media platforms, there are still massive opportunities for B2C advertisers when it comes to using Live Video within their social media marketing and social commerce initiatives,” said Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia. “Live Video experiences on Facebook and Instagram are giving advertisers a new and fresh way to connect with their primary audiences, offering real-time conversation capabilities that drive measurable eCommerce gains. Unfortunately, many brands in the UK have not fully embraced social video tactics, leaving much room for improvement in this area.”

Other key UK statistics from the report include: 

  • The eCommerce category had the highest number of interactions among brand pages on Facebook and Instagram in the UK (42.2% on Facebook and 36.7% on Instagram).
  • Within the eCommerce category, the top-performing page on Facebook was Pink Boutique, with 2,354,125 interactions on 867 posts. Other well-performing pages included Misspap and History Hit. In terms of engagement, Netflix’s top three Facebook posts created 2,236,382 interactions.
  • For retail, Asda was the top-performing brand page on Facebook with 653,869 interactions on 62 posts. The top-performing profile on Instagram was JD Sports, which had 1,622,843 followers and generated 1,265,734 interactions on 225 posts. In terms of organic performance on Instagram in the UK, Carousel performed the best with 174 median post interactions, which was 69 more than the second-highest post type, being Video.

Emplifi’s State of Social Media and CX report looks at trends in Q3 and uses data downloaded at the beginning of October.

81 percent of UK retailers putting customers at risk of fraud

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Only 19 percent of UK retailers have implemented the recommended level of DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) protection, which protects them from cybercriminals spoofing their identity and decreases the risk of email fraud for customers.

That’s according to research conducted by Proofpoint, which says this leaves online shoppers at 81 percent of retailers in the UK open to email fraud. UK retailers are also underperforming on a global scale, with 70 percent of global retailers in the Forbes Global 2000 having some form of DMARC protection, compared to just 45 percent in the UK.

With Brits expected to have spent some £4.8 Billion during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday frenzy, shoppers will not only be scanning the internet for deals, but will also be inundated with emails promising deals that are too good to miss. Cybercriminals often capitalise on this increase in email communication from retailers to trick shoppers with fraudulent emails.

“Our research has shown that UK retailers are not only leaving their customers vulnerable to cybercriminals on the hunt for personal and financial data, but are also performing worse than global retailers at implementing at least the minimum level simple, yet effective email authentication best practices,” said Adenike Cosgrove, cybersecurity strategist, International, Proofpoint. “Email continues to be the vector of choice for cybercriminals and the retail industry remains a key target”.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Less than half (45 percent) of UK retailers analysed by Proofpoint have implemented the minimum level of DMARC protection to prevent malicious actors spoofing their domain.
  • Further, only 19 percent have implemented the recommended level of DMARC protection (reject), which actually blocks fraudulent emails from reaching their intended targets, meaning 81 percent are leaving customers open to email fraud.
  • 36 percent of UK retailers have no published DMARC record at all, leaving themselves wide open to impersonation attacks.
  • Proofpoint also analysed the DMARC status of the global retailers included in the Forbes Global 2000 and found that not only have significantly fewer UK retailers implemented some level of DMARC protection, 70 percent of global retailers compared to only 45 in the UK, but more retailers in the UK have zero protections in place compared to those globally, 36 percent compared to 30 percent.

“Organisations in all sectors should look to deploy authentication protocols, such as DMARC, to shore up their email fraud defences. Cybercriminals will always leverage key events to drive targeted attacks using social engineering techniques such as impersonation, and will capitalise on a time when guards are down, and attentions are focused on grabbing seasonal bargains. Ahead of Black Friday, shoppers must be vigilant in checking the validity of all emails and retailers must do better to ensure their customers remain safe online”, added Cosgrove.

Proofpoint recommends consumers follow the below top tips to remain safe online while shopping for seasonal bargains:

  1. Use strong passwords:  Do not reuse the same password twice. Consider using a password manager to make your online experience seamless, whilst staying safe. Use multi-factor authentication for an added layer of security.
  2. Avoid Unprotected WiFi: Free/open-access WiFi is not secure: cybercriminals can intercept data transferred over unprotected WiFi, including credit card numbers, passwords, account information, and more.
  3. Watch out for “lookalike” sites: Attackers create “lookalike” sites imitating familiar brands. These fraudulent sites may sell counterfeit (or non-existent) goods, be infected with malware, or steal money or credentials.
  4. Dodge Potential Phishing and Smishing Attacks: Phishing emails lead to unsafe websites that gather personal data, like credentials and credit card data. Watch out for SMS phishing too —aka ‘smishing’ — or messages through social media.
  5. Don’t click on links: Go directly to the source of the advertised deal by typing a known website address directly into your browser. For special offer codes, enter them at the checkout to see if they are legitimate.
  6. Verify Before You Buy: Fraudulent ads, websites, and mobile apps can be hard to spot. When downloading a new app or visiting an unfamiliar site, take time to read online reviews and any customer complaints.

Take back control from rising payments costs

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E-com payments survey results by Trustly

More and more people are shopping online every day. In the increasingly digital world of commerce, there’s no room for poor experiences that lead to unnecessary costs. Especially when it comes to payments.

For merchants thinking of taking their business across borders, traditional payment methods can cause more headaches than anything. Modernising legacy systems, understanding new payment methods and wrapping your head around local payment preferences all adds to  overwhelming complexity. Not to mention the uncertainty around rising payment costs.

With all this in mind, we surveyed 1000 merchants across seven key European markets to find out the key challenges they face and possible solutions. Discover the findings in our report and the eye-opening role that Open Banking Payments can play in detangling many payments challenges.

Click Here To Download Report

Rising FMCG pricing ‘good news’ for supermarket own brands

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Demand for major supermarkets’ own private labels have dragged, preventing them from capitalising on potential growth in value sales, despite promotions and prominent positioning on grocery apps and websites.

However, the current growing inflationary environment, where leading FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) manufacturers are likely to pass on the full impact of price increases to consumers, retailers are poised strategically to hold prices of private labels in categories where they wish to increase penetration and grow value sales.

That’s according to findings from IRI’s biannual ‘FMCG Demand Signals’ report, which covers the year ending July 2021, reveals how national brands throughout the UK and Western Europe grew total FMCG value sales by €35bn (an increase of 0.6% YoY) to 67.3% despite private label widening the price gap by almost 100 basis points (BPS), particularly on food and drink prices, by increasing on and offline promotional activity.

These offers were withdrawn during the last five weeks of the analysis period on the back of crippling supply-side disruptions and underlying input price increases.

The report also shows that during the pandemic, consumers throughout the UK and Europe sought reassurance from buying recognised and trusted brands in almost every FMCG category, despite retailer-owned private labels widening the price gap by offering discounts and promotions.

Ananda Roy, International Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth Insights, IRI, said: “As the indexed price gap widened between national brands and private labels, you would have expected to see shoppers opting for the substitutes that offered better value. Surprisingly, this didn’t happen. Throughout the UK and major European markets analysed in the Demand Signals study, consumers chose trusted, nationally distributed brands. In response, several retailers offered significant promotions and discounts especially in the period covering Q4 of 2020 and Q1 of 2021 to no avail. In addition, private labels, who often rely on smaller contract manufacturers, were also unable to meet spikes in demand due to lower inventory levels and their own supply-side disruptions.”

“As inflationary measures hit the UK and parts of Europe and national brands raise their prices, retailers must decide exactly where they will allow price increases to flow directly through to consumers. Undoubtedly, we will see price hikes for many staple national brands.In categories where major supermarkets and discounters wish to see greater private label penetration, they may decide to hold back and offer more affordable prices.”

The private label categories most likely to see these trends are impulse categories such as chocolate, especially in seasonal gift packs; ambient foods and pre-packed meals, alternative breakfast or light meal ‘better for you’ cereals, grain bars and protein-rich functional foods and drinks, and at-home cooking sauces, condiments and kits.

IRI’s data scientist teams study billions of FMCG transactions from across the UK,  US and several of the largest European and Asia Pacific markets (France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and Greece) to understand how consumer demand has shaped category values across more than 230 different food and non-food segments, and to provide clarity on what drives commercial value.

Overall, FMCG value sales grew +3.1%[1] year-on-year to €579bn, with chilled & fresh and ambient food accounting for more than half of all sales (51.3%).

During a period, which covers two significant stay-at-home lockdowns across key European markets, the structure of food-vs-non-food contribution did not change significantly, with food making up on average 80% to 85% of category value. However, the retail channel split did reflect how we bought more food at supermarkets, hypermarkets and discounters.

With the easing of mobility restrictions during the second quarter of this year, online sales declined marginally from highs just above 8% to around 7.5% of overall category value – somewhat more resilient than analysts had predicted as hybrid purchase behaviour seeking ‘deals’ and convenience continue.

The report says it remains to be seen whether the meteoric rise of grocery-delivery services and apps will continue as food prices rise, already wafer-thin retailer margins are eroded, more delivery services become chargeable and online promotions continue to be withdrawn in the second half of this year.

The opening of leisure venues such as restaurants and cafés coinciding with the beginning of the spring and summer holidays, predictably saw alcohol value sales rise +8% YoY (€69.4bn), well over the total FMCG category (3.1% YoY).

Key highlights:

  • UK leads growth in wine sales – In the UK, wine increased by €803 million[2], with sales in Germany (€139 million) and Greece (€19 million) also rising. Specialty beers grew to €279 million in France with beers and craft beers impacting growth in Italy (€203 million), Spain (€186 million) and Netherlands (€83 million).
  • Masks and medicines – The extensive use of face masks, hand sanitisers and cleaners meant we had fewer coughs, colds and allergies, wiping out €165 million in the UK alone from the purchase of de-congestants and anti-allergens.
  • Restful retailing – As staying healthy remained a priority for many shoppers, sales of pharmacy and healthcare accessories increased. Aromatherapy, aromatic oils and candles that help facilitate lower stress levels and improve sleep, delivered €200 million across UK, Italy and France.
  • Shoppers opted for fresh and healthy – Chilled and fresh foods grew 3.4%, largely due to demand for cheese (Germany, €426 million and Spain, €67 million), fresh packaged fish (UK, €214 million) and smoked fish (France, €198 million, up 25%) and chilled meats (Italy, €218 million). But with consumers still working from home, chilled sandwiches (UK, down €217 million) and soft pasta (France, down €50 million) and margarines witnessed continuing declines.
  • No freeze on frozen – Frozen foods was the joint-second fastest-growing category in FMCG at 4.4% along with drinks. This was driven by frozen fish and meat and ice-cream (From €45 million in France, €44 million in Spain and €17million in Italy respectively) at the start of seasonal highs in late spring and an unseasonably warm early summer. The casualties were frozen pizzas, vegetables and herbs across markets.
  • A healthy thirst – Functional food and drinks are a new trend that continues to grow. We are seeking ‘better for me’ sports and energy drinks. Growth was led by Italy, France and Germany. The category already commands €155 million in the UK which grew 9%. Coffee in all its forms, (beans, pods, single-serve cups, specialty drinks) delivered the highest category value of around €500 million.
  • Mixed picture for non-food – The huge rise in sales of gardening tools, supplements, DIY and home-improvement items did not offset the significant decline across personal and household care categories; notwithstanding panic buying of toilet paper, face tissues and anti-bacterial wipes.
  • Health and hygiene first – Household products, including carpet cleaners, aromatic oils, cleaning products and disinfectants rose in sales. All forms of cleaning products made up €150 million across the UK, France and Spain.
  • Cosmetics fail to cover up decline in non-food – Personal care produced interesting results as the demand for personal hygiene products declined as we continued to work from home and an air of informality influenced consumer choices. Cosmetics and lip makeup in France were down by €65 million; deodorants and body sprays in Germany and the Netherlands dropped by around €45 million, and hairspray and colourants in Italy dropped by €13 million.
  • US FMCG returns to growth – Manufacturers aggressively reduced stock levels during the first half of 2021, particularly in food and drink, with pricing, promotions and range optimisation. In the five weeks leading to the end of June, fewer promotions, and price points for private label only slightly lower than national brands, enabled total FMCG value share to return to growth (+2.3%).

Online retailers ‘lose over £1 billion annually’ due to lack of available payment methods

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

67% of UK adults find a lack of payment methods available at online checkouts frustrating, while 20% admit that they always abandon their online basket if they cannot pay using their preferred method.

That’s according to research conducted by Merchant Advice Service, which polled 2,200 UK adults over the age of 18, all of whom shop online at least once per week.

It was initially found that over two thirds of respondents (67%) find it frustrating when there is a lack of payment methods available when shopping online; of those, more than half (54%) admit they’re discouraged to complete an online purchase if the payment options are limited solely to debit or credit card details.

When asked which payment methods respondents’ favour the most (and able to pick more than one option), 71% admit they opt for PayPal, closely followed by 68% who said they tend to use digital wallets (Apple Pay and Google Pay). Meanwhile, 24% prefer Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) payments such as Klarna and Clear Pay.

Quizzed further, the top reasons respondents gave for using alternative payment methods when online shopping – as opposed to their credit or debit card – were revealed to be:

1. “I’ve lost my bank card/don’t know my details” – 86%
2. “I don’t want to re-enter my card details every time I shop” – 78%
3. “I prefer one-click payments, it’s so much more convenient” – 65%
4. “I feel safer using Paypal and Apple Pay because my details are protected” – 54%
5. “If I’m shopping in bed, I can’t be bothered to get up and find my card” – 48%

What’s more, one fifth of respondents (20%) admits that every time they cannot pay with their preferred payment method, they simply abandon the purchase. Asked to give an estimate on the monetary value of the items they ‘window shopped and dropped’ each month, the average answer was £15.00.

The team at Merchant Advice Service have consequently estimated – that with approximately 50,909,098 adults aged 18 and over in the UK, and the one fifth of respondents who admit to abandoning £180 worth of products online per year – means as much as £1,832,727,528 is lost by retailers annually due to the lack of payment methods available for customers.

Libby James, co-founder of www.merchantadviceservice.co.uk, said: “These findings show just how crucial it is for retailers to offer alternative payment methods to just credit or debit cards, since so many now prefer using Google Pay, Apple Pay, Klarna, and so on. By limiting your payment methods, you’re equally limiting your chances of a sale if customers are unable to pay using their preference. To avoid customers falling at the final stage of checkout, consider adding payment methods that make the online shopping experience as seamless and hassle-free as possible, by offering one-click payments and more.”

UK online sales ‘will settle at £12.8bn’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Shoppers may be flooding back to High Streets and shopping centres, but online sales are still booming.

That’s according to ParcelHero research, which says our shopping habits post-Covid will result in e-commerce levelling out at around 25% of all retail sales. That means that UK internet sales will be worth around £12.8bn annually.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., said: ‘Our figure of 25% is a significant fall from the 36.1% of all retail sales that online grabbed last February at the height of lockdown. However, it’s still a huge increase on the 19% share online used to take, before the pandemic permanently shook up retail.

‘For some months now, retailers have been trying to guess what the new normal will look like. We believe the picture has now become a lot clearer. The cash registers have certainly been ringing more frequently in stores ever since non-essential shops returned to life on 12 April, but ParcelHero’s own research shows that 46% of consumers have no intention of returning to their pre-Covid, High Street spending levels. Indeed, July saw a decrease in retail footfall compared to June.

‘Online sales fell 4.7% in June compared to May, and they have been falling every month since March, but not at such a rate as to indicate shoppers have abandoned their new online spending habits. As a result, everyone has been trying to assess the new “natural order” and it’s looking like online will permanently secure around a quarter of all retail spending.

‘We’ve looked at data from the smallest online marketplace traders to the largest retail behemoths such as Amazon. There’s no doubt the growth in online spending has slowed dramatically, but any retailer trusting that things will return to how they were pre-pandemic will be sadly mistaken.

‘At the peak of the pandemic, Amazon was experiencing growth of 41%. In contrast, its gross revenues are expected to grow at “just” 10% to 16% next quarter. That’s a big slowdown but, significantly, the continued projected growth indicates that post-Covid shoppers will keep the online habit.

‘Similarly, Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and crafts items, is still growing in the second quarter of 2021, despite the return of High Street shopping. Etsy, which now owns Depop and Reverb, saw group revenues rise 23.4% to $528.9 million in the three months to 30 June. For the next quarter, it thinks revenues will come in between $500 million and $525 million. That’s a definite decline but far from a collapse to pre-Covid levels.

‘ParcelHero anticipates there will be something of spending spree on our High Streets during August, as everyone enjoys the Great British Staycation. However, the return of colder weather this autumn will likely see new concerns about Covid-19, flu and other illnesses. Everything points towards long-term equilibrium, with online spending maintaining a 25% hold on the UK’s overall £51.4bn retail spend.

‘Ultimately, the fight between online and in-store sales must end in a draw. An omnichannel sales strategy, embracing both shop and online sales, with both services complementing the other, is the only way forward as retail claws its way back from the clutches of the coronavirus.”

50% of adults will interact with brands more through digital channels post-pandemic

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Over half (55%) of UK adults will interact with brands more through digital and virtual channels than face-to-face post-pandemic.

The global study from Nuance – which polled 10,000 adults across the US, UK, Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Mexico – also found that over half (51%) of UK respondents would rather use apps or a company’s website than go into a physical branch or store to complete tasks such as shopping and banking.

When it comes to communicating with brands, over one in four (26%) UK adults said they still preferred in-person visits or phone (13%), 42% choose digital channels including email, live-chat and chat-bots. Convenience (51%) and speed (36%) were the most common drivers for choosing a preferred method of communication, with speaking to a ‘real’ human (26%) trailing.

Nuance says the findings illustrate that consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable using technology to make purchases and access services, while still expecting brands to deliver a human touch when required.

In addition to being more comfortable using tech like chatbots, virtual assistants, and mobile applications to interact with brands, adults in the UK have also increased their trust in tech that helps them access their personal information and accounts online.

According to the study, almost half (45%) are now more comfortable using biometrics to authenticate themselves when accessing their accounts than they were before the pandemic, with 38% feeling more comfortable using their smartphone to access their accounts as well. These figures are reflected in the global findings with a similar number (49%) more comfortable using biometrics and 47% more comfortable using their smartphone to access accounts.

A third (34%) of UK respondents now place the most trust in a form of biometrics (either voice, facial, fingerprint, behavioural, or combinations of each) as a means of authentication. This is an important step in the right direction, says Nuance, as fraudsters have been increasingly targeting individuals during the pandemic, exploiting archaic authentication methods like PINs and passwords that can be made accessible via the dark web to gain access to consumer accounts and funds. While this is progress, the UK still lags behind the US in terms of trust in biometrics, with nearly half (45%) of adults backing the technology.

This growing trust in technology across age groups is likely a reflection of the positive experiences customers have received online. When asked about how they would rate the customer services they’ve accessed online over the past 12 months – services that might have previously been accessed in-person, like banking or shopping – 58% of UK shoppers said good or excellent. This is less than the global responses, in which two thirds (66%) rated their customer services at the same level.

“With convenience, speed, and ultimately getting the job done prevailing as clear priorities for buyers, organisations such as retailers, banks, and utilities companies must develop strategies for delivering consistently efficient and effective digital experiences,” said Seb Reeve, Intelligent Engagement Market Development at Nuance. “From slick and secure authentication processes to intuitive AI powered intelligent assistants, technology must be able to manage the personalised needs of customers while seamlessly bridging to human intervention when required at the right moment.”

“Customers expect immediate and effective conversations with the brands they engage with – whether those conversations are happening on the phone or via a chatbot on a company’s website. Empowering these engagements requires an integrated approach where an organisation not only can understand the customer’s intent but also authenticate that customer and start personalising their experience across every single channel – from in-person, to phone, to web, to mobile. With the pandemic creating an increasing comfort, trust, and preference among consumers to use technology when engaging with brands, it will be critical that organisations prioritise delivering superior digital experiences if they want to retain customer loyalty and continue to scale.”

Half of retailers ‘failing to capitalise on eCommerce’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Research from Hitachi Solutions and K3 Technologies has found that many retailers didn’t have the technology foundation in place to capitalise on the eCommerce boom over the last year.

In fact, over half (57%) of retailers reported that they weren’t agile enough. However, the retailers that made early investments in digital ERP reported fewer issues around agility and were quicker to deploy efficient digital sales strategies. This is because they had access to better data insights, generated through ERP.

Significantly, early adopters of digital ERP were a third more likely to capitalise on the shift to online shopping. This suggests that pouring money into an eCommerce strategy alone isn’t enough to win over shoppers. Instead, fashion retailers need to build their digital strategies from the ground up, starting with a single source of data for operations and inventory.

It’s been estimated that acquiring new customers costs anywhere between 5 to 50 times as much as retaining existing customers. Inconveniences caused by a lack of visibility like out-of-stock products, or the absence of cross channel returns threaten a smooth customer journey and could result in the loss of loyal customers.

The report asserts that having a seamless supply chain is critical because any issues will reflect negatively on the customer journey. The research found that the number one cause of internal bottlenecks, and therefore one of the biggest barriers to meeting customer demands, is lack of visibility (86%).

This is often due to outdated systems throughout the supply chain. Respondents made it clear that ERP is a critical tool to gaining this visibility, and being able to scale up, citing that the greatest benefits of digitalising ERP are enabling growth (28%) and visibility (20%).

Fashion retailers don’t need to totally overhaul their systems to see results, but by updating parts of the ERP systems and updating existing technology, they will be able to better understand and respond to customers.

The research shows that having a strong digital strategy depends on having a strong digital foundation. Yet, around 1 in 5 fashion brands have yet to digitalise their ERP, with France being the slowest adopters in Europe. This highlights a significant opportunity for retailers to improve their technology to boost business agility and meet customer demands.

There is a clear case for digitalising from the ground up, but many issues are getting in the way. The biggest challenge is making the business case for updating (28%), which has always been a challenge for fashion – before and during Covid-19. Updating ERP systems can be a long and arduous task, especially if your organisation is resistant to change – so it’s critical that potential solutions integrate easily, and build on your existing strategy.

In fact, when it comes to implementing ERP, easy integration is the most important factor for retailers (58%) with usability a close second (56%).

All respondents see the value in digitalising ERP, yet this year ERP has seen a decrease in digital investment of up to a third, while eCommerce funding has absorbed this budget with a 61% increase. Covid-19 likely influenced this as retailers had to invest heavily in digital; for many, it was the only way to reach customers. However, if fashion brands want to deliver a great experience and retain customers long term, they have to move their focus to updating the ERP systems that are fundamental to the health of their digital channels.

Tony Bryant, Director Global Business Development and K3 Technologies, said: “2020 provided a reset moment for retail and fashion, with many brands completely pivoting to meet customers through digital channels. But customers’ demands are becoming more complex, and the fashion brand landscape is in adapt or die mode. For many fashion retailers, a lack of visibility into operations and inventory has been a spanner in the works for meeting customer demands. This is why laying the foundations for a single source of real-time data through ERP is critical. It delivers competitive advantage for fashion brands in a world that increasingly values convenience, personalisation, and flexibility. Fashion brands need to meet customers where they are, and a strong digital foundation plays a critical role here.”

Amazon Prime Day will be a $15bn 48-hour bonanza

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

ParcelHero says this year’s Amazon’s Prime Day event (21-22 June) is set to break all records. It forecasts last year’s $10.4bn (£7.37bn) Amazon spending spree will rise 44% to $14.9bn (£10.56bn), with Brits alone set to spend a whopping £1.4bn ($1.98bn).

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., said: ‘Traditionally, Amazon Prime Day sales have jumped by around 55% every year. We also know that many people who remained employed during the long lockdowns have some serious money burning a hole in their wallets and purses.

‘However, we must also be realistic. Last year’s Prime Day was in October, ideally placed for the beginning of Christmas shopping and at a time when many countries were still in full lockdown. This year, it kicks off on 21 June – the earliest date ever – and the High Streets have reopened. With that in mind, we’re being a little cautious with our forecast this year and predict a “mere” 44% growth in spending over the two days.

‘This reflects Amazon’s latest sales figures, so we think it’s the minimum increase likely on the big day. It means that last year’s global spend of $10.4bn (£7.37bn) will rise to at nearly $15bn (£10.62bn). Indie Marketplace sellers on Amazon are primed for a real bonanza, with sales set to soar from $3.5bn (£2.48bn) to $5.04bn (£3.57bn).

‘Brits are certainly not going to be left out. ParcelHero’s exclusive research reveals that UK customers splashed a huge £18.78bn ($26.5bn) on Amazon over the course of last year and over £1bn ($1.41bn) during the two-day event itself. This year, spending looks set to rise to an enormous £1.4bn ($1.98bn) over the Prime Day event for the first time.

‘Other e-commerce sites enjoy the knock-on effect of all this activity, thanks to what ParcelHero dubs the Prime Day “Halo Effect”. Last year, online sales on non-Amazon sites grew by 69% globally on the first day of the sale.  According to Adobe Digital Insights, large retailers also experienced up to 50% increased sales in the days following the last Prime Day – presumably as shoppers searched the web for items they couldn’t find in Amazon’s sale.

‘Finally, some people question whether Prime Day items are genuine bargains. According to one anonymous retailer, Amazon requires that Prime Day discounts are exclusive to Prime members and are at least 5% cheaper than the lowest price on the product over the previous 30 days. Additionally, the products included in Prime Day deals must have at least 3.5 star ratings.

‘The date of Amazon Prime Day was announced shortly after news that the e-commerce giant plans to buy the MGM film studio.

You can read more about Amazon’s revolutionary retail and distribution plans in ParcelHero’s in-depth report:  Amazon’s Prime Ambition .

76% of shoppers say convenience is the key priority in choosing an online retailer

940 640 Guest Contributor

But what does convenience mean to the consumer, and what does this mean for retailers building an online shopping experience?

Today’s ecommerce marketplace continues to grow at an astounding rate. This growth has resulted from an accelerated shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic — creating an ‘always-on’ experience for consumers. In the new, effortless economy, customers expect to shop when and how they want. Whether it’s searching on a marketplace, or discovering new products in their social feed, shoppers are increasingly influenced by convenience and a frictionless purchase journey.

Linnworks latest research whitepaper unpacks the five key customer experience trends that will drive your online selling strategy in 2021. From frictionless interactions at every touchpoint, to payment flexibility and shipping and returns policies on the customer’s terms, discover why convenience underpins the five key trends in ecommerce customer experience, and how optimizing these touchpoints will help you capture every selling opportunity in the new, effortless economy.

Every point of interaction is a chance to win over the consumer – and if a retailer gets it right, your customers will reward you with increased order values,  more frequent purchases and greater customer loyalty.

Get Linnworks’ latest online shopper research whitepaper.