Marco Sacco Stevanella, UK Country Manager at ManoMano disects the modern-day consumer and considers how to maximise sales over the Black Friday to Christmas period:
Analysing the Modern-Day Consumer to Maximise Seasonal Holiday Sales
Despite the unpredictability of the current economic climate continuing to challenge retailers across the world, there is one ever-present trading period that remains hugely important to prepare for every year – the holiday season. A report from the British Retail Consortium states that November and December account for more than 1/5th of total retail sales, according to the ONS Retail Sales Index, whilst data from Sales Cycle states UK consumers spent a total of £9.42bn over the course of the Black Friday weekend in 2021.
In 2022, preparation for the holiday season is more important than ever. Over the past year the retail industry has been affected by the cost of living crisis, and this is expected to impact holiday spending, with research from Retail Economics and Hot UK Deals predicting that Black Friday spending will drop by 15% compared to last year, whilst Voucher Codes Shopping for Christmas Report 2022 predicts that Christmas sales are expected to fall by 3%.
To overcome the impending impact on seasonal spending, retailers need to identify how they can maximise sales over the course of the holiday period. One way to do this is by reviewing their online selling strategy through the eyes of the new, modern-day consumer, and using this analysis to expand their offerings into new markets.
The Modern-Day Consumer
The shift to e-commerce over the past few years has changed the outlook of the modern-day consumer, who now see shopping as a solution rather than a leisure. Consumers have become less focused on where they purchase products from, but instead desire competitive pricing, increased availability, and speedy delivery. In 2022, with the cost-of-living crisis at the forefront of people’s minds, consumers will be prioritising two areas over the holidays – price and accessibility. Retailers therefore need to analyse their most popular products and categories and ensure they meet the desires of their target audience – especially over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.
Diego Castro, Account Manager at Aosom, a home & garden retailer and top-performing seller on leading online home improvement marketplace ManoMano, believes the best way to do this is through reviewing the most popular product lines from the previous year.
It is important to review your previous performance and understand which specific categories and products are regularly in demand, which you can then prioritise when preparing seasonal stock. By predicting the most popular lines, you can identify which products to promote to your target audience whilst ensuring you are readily prepared for any increased customer demand.– Diego Castro, Account Manager, Aosom
The modern-day consumer also seeks simplicity when shopping online. Over the festive holidays, consumers purchase numerous products across an array of different categories as they search for gifts and prepare for holiday hosting. To help save time, many consumers seek a one-stop shop experience, in which they can purchase all their needs in one go, without the hassle of multiple deliveries and payment plans. The same applies to Black Friday, in which consumers can view the best deals across all categories via one platform.
The rise of marketplaces has not only encouraged but accelerated this trend. The 2022 Future of Marketplaces Report from Edge by Ascential predicts that online marketplaces sales will account for 59% of global eCommerce by 2027. By selling on a marketplace over the holiday period, retailers gain access to the modern-day consumer who are more focused on the one-stop shop experience and look out for pricing and availability over the brand name, in-turn helping increase sales and audience awareness.
Reaching a Global Audience
With the cost-of-living crisis causing consumers to cut back on spending, holiday sales in 2022 will be much more restricted, so in order to maximise sales retailers need to focus on cross-border selling. The holiday trading period is so successful within the industry as it is a globally celebrated event, and retailers gain the opportunity to tap into consumer demand in several different markets. Retailers who do not sell internationally risk restricting themselves to only one target audience, despite there being demand from consumers across the world.
For start-up and independent retailers, international selling can be a challenge as it requires an in-depth online platform which supports all languages, currencies, and delivery options. Marketplaces are the ideal solution for smaller businesses who are looking to grow their audience and sales during the seasonal holidays, as they take on all the challenges faced with cross-border selling, varying from product translation and currency conversion to offering several payment methods and delivery options.
For global retail celebrations such as Black Friday and Singles Day, marketplaces also allow retailers to get involved with promotional and marketing activity, once again ensuring their best offers and promotions are placed in front of its new target audience, instead of being restricted to one specific market.
The 2022 holiday season is set to be an important one in the retail industry. In order for retailers to maximise sales, they must consider selling on marketplaces to ensure they meet the demands of the modern-day consumer, providing value, convenience and accessibility via a one-stop shopping experience across several different markets.