As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, Andy Mulcahy from UK online retail trade body IMRG looks at key trends in the UK market and where it’s heading next. What are the expectations for Black Friday and beyond?
Recent growth rates
Impact on conversion rates
Forecasted Black Friday impacts
Retail trends in the post-pandemic economy — what next for UK retailers.
The impact of the pandemic, as well as the current supply chain issues, is affecting UK retailers with new patterns of spending emerging, said Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at UK online retail trade body IMRG.
Mulcahy ran viewers of Linn Academy 2021 Virtual through a number of key metrics for the online retail market in the UK, including growth, conversion rates and average basket values.
He said stock challenges were impacting buying patterns because consumers were becoming more focused on actually securing the product than worrying about whether it was at the best price – a trend he said would prove even more interesting as we move to the discounting periods of Black Friday and beyond.
Mulcahy outlined the pattern of Black Friday campaigns and promotions over recent years and how promotions in November had begun earlier. Looking to 2021 he said IMRG had asked around 60 retailers when they would launch their promotions this year. Around a third said they would launch before the third week of November, a third on the third week of November, and a significant proportion before. “If that poll we did turns out to be true 2020 won’t have been an anomaly of retailers going early because of lockdown,” he said. This in part is due to retailers encouraging consumers to shop early because of the current supply chain challenges, he said.
Mulcahy also outlined the opportunities for those retailers who make use of the new data gained during lockdown shopping. “Throughout the pandemic, the ones that did the best were multichannel retailers,” he said. That migration of existing, trusting consumers online would have meant a wealth of new customer data for such retailers which, coupled with investment in their digital operations could mean big opportunities. “If they are smart about how they use that they could be very well positioned to do something quite good,” he said.