In the run up to the festive season, The UK’s retailers are feeling just like their jolly old selves again…
Huzzah! Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s bringing a great big sack full of cash for the UK economy according to research from Barclay’s. Not one Brit can deny that it’s been a tough few years economy-wise in our beloved United Kingdom due to the financial crisis of the late noughties. Purse strings were tightened up and down the country as we Brits were forced to cut our spending in the throws of the recession. This year, however, the anticipation of St Nick’s arrival brings with it the hope of better times as UK retailers predict a much more prosperous year than we have become accustomed to recently…
This year, 70% of retailers are feeling optimistic about Christmas trading, compared with just over 50% in 2013. Perhaps it’s the Christmas spirit that’s got them feeling upbeat, or maybe it’s the heart-warming Sainsbury’s Christmas advert?
The fact of the matter is that people are buying more. In the midst of the digital boom, e-commerce has skyrocketed, accounting for almost £45 billion of retail sales this year. The explosion of mobile technology has certainly added to the online spending revolution, with 35% of retailers listing tablets as their main growing sales channel. As we head towards Christmas, these retailers are predicting that their customers will be reaching for their iPads and avoiding the chaos of the notorious Christmas queues; it certainly strikes me as the better option.
Brands on the whole are becoming much more personable. Social selling is fast emerging as a revenue machine; customers feel closer to their retailers through the powers gifted to them by sites such as Twitter where they can have real-time contact with a non-robotic(ish) genuine brand representative. The ease with which consumers can, well, consume in this age is unprecedented. The technology on offer brings the retailer right into the proverbial customer living room, bridging the gap between brand and market.
What else has us digging out the pennies as we head towards December? Our spirit of good will, of course. Christmas is a notoriously expensive time of the year, with the average UK household predicted to spend £822 over the coming month, up £54 on last year’s spending. And is it just me or are gifts getting more expensive? Generation iPad are certainly not all satisfied with a Monopoly board (although of course, it’s the thought that counts).
Ever heard of Black Friday? By now, some of you may have. The biggest day in the US shopping calendar year, Black Friday is making its way slowly and surely to our shores. Taking place the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday sees the majority of US brands slashing their prices, making for some manic retail action. Nowadays, the power of sites such as Instagram has brought American brands to a UK audience. The use of hashtagging on these social media sites means that brands are able to target their global audience using just one tap of their keyboard; hashtags are a global currency. Where prices were slashed overseas, sales could be lost on home ground. For this reason, we’ve seen a rise in Black Friday sales on British labels, and it’s sure to bring the shoppers out to brave the winter weather.
Check out some of this info about Europe’s online economies!
Over the festive period, brand websites are really put through their paces. The aforementioned legion of tablet shoppers who like to get their Crimbo gifts from the comfort of their armchair are looking for a website which works dutifully, making their experience as easy as possible. Make sure you’re prepared for some high traffic with a powerful hosting solution, and get your website decked out in its Christmas gear with our website builder.