Mobile shopping trend becomes harder to ignore

Mobile shopping growth cannot be ignored

Retailers can no longer ignore the trend of mobile shopping, as more and more see their mobile devices as more than just a tool through which to browse. Though many retailers are now “mobile friendly”, there are still many that fall short of the mark.

John Lewis beats other retailers for mobile shopping offering - Webloyalty UK

John Lewis tops the charts! Image courtesy of: Digital Marketing Institute: http://goo.gl/MI2RnL

Following a report on the best mobile retail sites in the UK, The Drum reported in June: At the bottom of the table were Thomson, B&Q, Tesco Direct, Apple and Thomas Cook. Top was John Lewis!

Mobile shopping overtakes desktop…

Since online shopping on mobiles overtook desktop for the first time in September last year, retailers need to maximise their mobile offering, be this through a strong mobile site, or an app, or some other creative solution to drive sales.

But what about tablets?

In June, Internet Retailing reported that tablet shopping is growing four times faster than mobile phone shopping so retailers should also be focusing on this market.

Early in 2014, this graphic from Think with Google shows the different ways that consumers use their mobile for shopping.

Mobile shopping trends from Think With Google | Webloyalty UK

Thanks to Think With Google for this infographic: http://goo.gl/ai2g26

It looks like half of online shopping across eu will come from mobile and tablet in the coming months, so something to be aware of.

Will social prove profitable too?

This snippet from an infographic by Digitas shows that social is finally proving to be profitable for retailers to invest time in. Up to now it’s been seen by customers primarily as a means to contact and engage, but as more and more channels introduce ecommerce options, there is no avoiding the idea of buying through your social profile.

How social media affects mobile shopping - Webloyalty UK

Thanks to Digitas for this infographic: http://goo.gl/4i6pKz

So, lots to prepare for and look forward to in the future!

Join the conversation @WebloyaltyUK

Click-and-collect overtook home delivery for Christmas 2014

John Lewis reports bumper Christmas 2014

Click-and-collect overtakes home delivery for online John Lewis orders over Christmas 2014 - on the Webloyalty blog

Image courtesy of Karen Roe, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/Ek1M2L

John Lewis was worried about Black Friday

John Lewis recorded a massive increase in sales on Black Friday in the last weekend of November, but numbers fell away in December.

Fortunately the retailer benefitted from a surge of online sales over the Christmas holiday, with a 19% rise on last year’s figures.

Click-and-collect represented 56% of online sales, overtaking home delivery

The click-and-collect option was the popular choice in the run-up to Christmas, as customers begin to worry about the reliability of home delivery. This indicates that the high street is still very much an essential for many shoppers, as it’s a reliable way to collect online orders as well as browse for presents or other items.

The high street still plays a key role

Despite the big jump in online shopping, John Lewis’ managing director Andy Street said establishing a physical shop presence was key to winning internet customers, because they frequently browsed products before ordering online.

John Lewis plans to push ahead with new stores, aiming to go from having 42 physical stores to 65, with a focus on Birmingham. “The role of the shop is absolutely critical in providing the online sales,” Mr Street said.

You can read more about this story on the Daily Mail and the BBC.

Oxford Street stores benefit from online sales

John Lewis isn’t the only Oxford Street staple that was happy to receive a boost in online shopping over Christmas 2014. As the Financial Times reports, House of Fraser benefitted from strong online sales over the holiday.

For House of Fraser, online sales rose by more than 31 per cent in the period, compared with an increase of 4.2 per cent in its physical stores.

Did you shop online at Christmas, and use click-and-collect?

Join the conversation @WebloyaltyUK

Christmas: How much have you spent so far?

How much do you think you’ve spent so far?

With Christmas just days away, you might expect that most of us have got our Christmas present shopping under way, and have moved on to wrapping and preparing the home or travel plans for the day itself. BUT! Do you have any idea how much money you’re going to spend on Christmas this year?

What is the average budget for Christmas?

According to our recent research report, the average amount planned to be spent on Christmas 2014 is £433 per person. This includes presents, decorations and food.

What's your budget for Christmas? Compare yourself to the rest of the UK with Webloyalty

Click for a larger image (Full report at Webloyalty UK)

How long to wait before buying the turkey?

When it comes to buying food for Christmas day, analysts have confirmed that the best time to head for the shops is between 6:30 and 7:30am tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd December). The Telegraph reports: shoppers who rise early each year on December 23 obtain the “fullest, freshest and quickest shop”, according to analysis of supermarket delivery times, staffing and footfall.

It’s got to have some truth in it, as looking around Sainsbury’s yesterday most of their ‘Christmas’ branded items had Best Before dates that fell before Christmas Eve!

It turns out that as a nation we are choosing Tesco as our number one destination for food shopping, with Sainsbury’s a second option.

Tesco wins the title of chosen Christmas supermarket of 2014, according to Webloyalty

Click for a larger image (Webloyalty UK)

The Christmas sales: are you going online?

Despite the news articles today talking about the Christmas Day peak in online sales, our research report revealed that only 4% of UK consumers are heading online to snap up sales on the day itself. In fact, only half of the country will be looking at sales at all. The majority of sale seekers will be starting their shopping no earlier than Saturday 27th, and finishing up before the new year. If you’re interested in reading more, you can see the full report here.

The UK’s Christmas plans: 2014

Here you can easily get all the key findings from our report, told to you through the power of festive animated storytelling! Enjoy.

Are you looking forward to Christmas? Join the conversation:

@WebloyaltyUK

How to build your brand - from Guy Chiswick at Webloyalty3

How to Build Your Brand for Today’s Consumer

Today’s fickle shopper means that having a strong brand is more important than ever. Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty Northern Europe, discusses five areas which retailers should focus on when trying to create a strong brand identity to attract the modern customer.

Building Blocks of Branding Success - Webloyalty UK

Image Courtesy of Deepak & Sunitha, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/xfT7VJ

How to build your brand

In today’s hyper-competitive market, bricks and mortar shops on the high street are not only competing with each other, but also with the allure of online stores. With so much choice, fickle customers can no longer be lured in by attractive products, and a ‘something for everyone’ store portfolio. To stay ahead of the curve, build your brand by developing a strong and, ideally, unique brand identity, which expresses their retail proposition to potential clients.

Key points for how to build your brand:

  1. How people are shopping today
  2. The importance of sub-branding
  3. Visually stimulating customer experience
  4. How to improve shop aesthetic
  5. Brand consistency is essential
  6. Adapt your store portfolio

How are we shopping now?

Following the recession, and owing to the proliferation of digital shopping channels, the way in which consumers shop has changed. They now expect more from their retail experience, and are more discerning about where they buy. According a survey of over 2,000 consumers that Webloyalty undertook, the most popular retailers were John Lewis (21.4%), Primark (18.3%), Debenhams (13.8%), H&M (9.8%) and Waitrose (9.7%). Whilst these brands share little in common in terms of their portfolio, prices and offering, each of them has a distinct brand identity and is known for offering their customers something desirable and unique – whether it’s value for money, a popular product range or a special experience in store.

The importance of sub-branding

In my experience, many outfits tend to fall short when they try to go after the whole market, or attempt to offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ store portfolio. Making homogenous ranges that ‘could’ cater to the needs of every customer can often be confusing and off-putting to shoppers. In order to avoid these pitfalls, businesses should aim to offer their customers a clearly segmented and visually inspiring offer, where product ranges are given their own distinct identity. This is where sub-branding is critical, as it allows your customers to understand how your ranges are tailored to their specific needs, providing them with an easy and logical shopping experience.

How to Build Your Brand - an article from Guy Chiswick, MD at Webloyalty Northern Europe

Image courtesy of GirlTalkHQ http://goo.gl/CScIxr

Visually stimulating customers’ interest

The importance of visual merchandising is often underplayed, but it has become a crucial part of stimulating customers’ interest. Online shopping is usually efficient and this efficiency has bred impatience in shoppers when using physical stores. Many will not take the time to browse or search for what they want. Making sure that each section of your store is not only visually stimulating but also signposts what is offered will help your customers find what they want and make choices accordingly.

Shop aesthetic

Unfortunately, stores can no longer depend on passing footfall to generate business. Online shopping offers convenience and efficiency, so bricks and mortar shops often need to offer something special to lure customers to visit. Creating a unique shop aesthetic and an exciting in-store experience can be the key to this. Presenting your customers with themes and stories, rather than just offering the products on their own merit, can help them make their choices. Two stores which excel at this are Apple and Hollister, who place as much importance on their stores’ designs as they do on their products. Not only do their stores offer a unique and exciting aesthetic, the aesthetic neatly matches their product offering, making it clear to customers exactly what they can expect from the store.

How to Build your Brand - consistency is everything - Webloyalty UK

Image courtesy of Derek Gavey, Creative Commons: http://goo.gl/e29THF

Brand consistency

One of the most important factors to consider when building your brand is consistency. Creating compelling product lines and an exciting store aesthetic will not be as effective if consistency cannot be maintained. The most successful brands are consistent across all aspects of the retail proposition, from product ranges to marketing to the store environment. Developing a coherent brand image is essential to expressing your entire store proposition to potential customers, building up customer loyalty and making sure you stay at the forefront of their minds when they shop.

Adapting store portfolio

Finally, as shopper habits become increasingly diverse, store portfolios need to evolve to better meet shoppers’ expectations. Retailers need to have a strategy for segmenting their supply according to consumer demand and the local competitive environment; a particularly salient example of this can be seen in John Lewis, which has opened larger flagship stores in major catchment areas, while in-filling gaps with smaller, flexible format outlets. Despite a difficult retail environment over recent years, John Lewis is a retailer which has continued to grow from strength to strength, reporting its best annual like-for-like sales growth since the start of the recession in February 2014. This popularity means John Lewis stores, and its huge flagship outlets in particular, are able to drive significantly high footfall.

I hope this has helped you with ideas about how to build your brand. Don’t hesitate to connect on Twitter, and if you have any other ideas about how to build your brand, please leave a comment below.

~ Guy Chiswick, Webloyalty

We thank Holger on Creative Commons for the header image.

Looking Ahead: Christmas Spending and Trends in the UK

We are delighted to publish the Webloyalty Christmas spending report in full, and you can view it on Slideshare here:

Key findings: the Christmas Spending report

A sparkly Christmas

While Christmas won’t be as lucrative as it was during the heady days before the economic downturn, we expect spending to sparkle this festive season with total growth of 2.7%. However, the spoils will not be evenly distributed with food and grocery struggling on a 1.5% increase. Spending on gifts will see an uplift of 3.3%.

We’re dreaming of … a traditional Christmas

Spending to one side, most of us will celebrate Christmas Day in a fairly traditional way with 64% having a festive meal with family, 61% watching the television, and 60% opening presents. Only 14% plan to listen to the Queen’s speech and 12% will use the day as an excuse for a lie-in. A small 1.6% will catch up on housework.

Getting out the games

12% of us will be playing board games on Christmas Day. Our favourites include: card games (played by 9%), Trivial Pursuit (7%), Monopoly (7%), Scrabble (6%), and Charades (4%).
Webloyalty reports against Christmas Spending and Trends in the UK - 2014 research

Season’s greetings

While many things have gone digital, 66% of us plan to send only printed Christmas cards, compared to just 3% who say they will only send e-cards. The average consumer is planning to send 27 cards this Christmas.

Time commitment

The average consumer will spend around 10 hours on Christmas-related shopping activities, with a committed 4.5% spending more than 48 hours on shopping. The total budget will be an average of £433 with 6.6% budgeting £1,000 or more.

The festive table

Almost half of us plan to spend £9.99 or less per head on the Christmas meal and most of us (67%) will do our shopping in physical stores. 81% will eat roast potatoes for Christmas dinner, 65% roast turkey and 65% stuffing. 5% will have steak.
We have highlighted the key findings from the research in this fun animation below. You can also see it on Webloyalty’s YouTube.

Webloyalty shares insight around the retail sector, and recent innovations and developments.