Retail Sales

Online helps deliver best retail sales since the beginning of 2016

Impact of online now being felt with increase of 11% in sales over the past three months

Retail figures from October were up 1.7% from a year ago, boosted by strong online sales over the past three months. With shoppers appearing to be unconcerned about the Brexit vote, the challenges of a weaker pound and the possibility of inflation creeping in – consumers are still spending.

But as the Golden Quarter begins, retailers need to continue to focus on anticipating consumers’ needs and expectations, or they will miss out on increased sales opportunities over the forthcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend and risk disappointing customers. This is according to retail systems integrator Tryzens.

The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium showed a 1.7% increase in like-for-like sales and a total sales increase of 2.4%. Online sales rose by 11% but in-store sales dropped 1.3% on a total basis.

“As we enter the peak trading period, retailers need to ensure that their site is built first and foremost around the smartphone consumer perspective.”

Andy Burton, CEO, Tryzens, stated: “These latest sales figures from the British Retail Consortium clearly indicate the trend of online shopping. This is not a one-off leap or statistical anomaly, it is the beginning of a major trend we have been seeing here in the UK for some time. Generation Consumer, the UK citizen that is empowered and comfortable with online shopping, is now using the smartphone more frequently to complete end-to-end shopping experiences in a dramatic shift in online behaviour.

“Retailers operating online have an undeniably significant opportunity through the peak trading period. But with that comes a form of duty to avoid the pitfalls encountered by some around performance and the end-to-end customer experience, including stock availability and delivery timeframes. With retailers already in the Golden Quarter, and Black Friday weekend and Christmas looming, they will be hoping to maintain momentum by capturing the attention of shoppers in the noisiest time of year.

“As we enter the peak trading period, retailers need to ensure that their site is built first and foremost around the smartphone consumer perspective. In practical terms that means reworking the customer experience and more than just around a responsive design, to favour fewer key taps, simplifying the Search/PLP, easing the completion of checkout for deliveries to regular addresses and adoption of mobile payment services,” he added.

eCommerce businesses need to make sure their design and support for mobile shoppers is a high priority in their roadmaps, as failure to act may mean missing out on this years’ peak period. Failing to provide a positive mobile experience could not only lose sales, but also create a poor relationship between a brand and its shrewd and increasingly tech savvy audience. Retailers therefore must enable consumers to shop on their device of choice to take full advantage of the opportunities peak trading presents

Tryzens Expert Research tracks, analyses and forecasts the trends and preferences of ‘Generation Consumer’ based on a detailed analysis of 1,000 UK consumers who were exposed to online shopping and had made at least one purchase in the past quarter. The Expert Research series was launched in 2015 to assist retailers operating online to quantify current consumer behaviour and preferences, in order to more accurately and effectively evolve their eCommerce capabilities.