BRC: Toy category boosted online sales in September

London, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM: “As with total sales, online saw an improvement on last month’s performance and fell back in line with the twelve-month average of above 10 per cent. Interestingly, for the first time online was a popular shopping destination for back- to school purchases, testament to retailers successfully ramping up their digital services and making it an integral part of the customer offer. Promotional activity in the toy category, which was September’s top performing category, also boosted online sales as the early birds were enticed to start their Christmas shopping.

“Online shopping is still the main source of sales growth for UK retailers, but popular services like click & collect and show rooming are significant drivers of online sales meaning physical stores still have a crucial role to play. Shoppers are more and more using a combination of the internet and high-street stores for the whole shopping journey; from browsing to the purchase itself. The result is that shops are increasingly becoming a destination to experience products rather than just to buy them.”

PAUL MARTIN, NEWLY APPOINTED HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG: “With summer coming to an end and “back to school” the main event in September, online shopping growth accelerated in the month with non-food sales up 10.2 per cent compared to last year and penetration rates rising to 21.1 per cent.

“Children’s toys performed strongest in terms of growth, no doubt spurred on by notable promotions from some of the major retailers in this sector. Likewise, health and beauty, furniture and home accessories all experienced a ringing at e-checkouts, as consumers looked to bag a bargain in the end of season sales.

“Compared to a dreary performance on the high-street, women’s fashion performed well online. However, footwear didn’t stand up to the success observed in-store, notably the only category which saw a decline online this month. Nevertheless, all eyes will be fixed on maintaining online sales momentum between now and Black Friday – the next major e-tail moment in the 2016 calendar.”

Media Contact:

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk
OUT OF HOURS: +44 (0) 7557 747 269

Source: BRC

BRC – KPMG: Online sales of Non-Food products in UK grew 9.0% YoY

LONDON, 2016-Jul-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium. “Online sales growth slowed to 9 per cent this month. While lower than last month’s growth it remains a solid performance, considering that June 2015 had recorded the best growth of that year. Online sales grew across all categories except Footwear and increased their share of total non- food sales as stores sales slipped further into negative territory.

“While online clearly remains the primary driver of sales growth for UK retailers, shoppers are no longer thinking in channels and are more and more often using both digital and physical stores as part of their customer journey from initial consideration to the actual transaction. Today’s figures re-emphasise the need for physical stores to be a destination for retail experiences rather than specifically and solely for the sales transaction itself.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG
“Online sales slowed in June, up just 9 per cent versus a record month last year. The gloomy weather failed to persuade shoppers onto the virtual aisles which meant summer fashion sales resembled tumble-weed on a catwalk and footwear sales flip-flopped considerably. Rather than browse new summer collections, consumers instead preferred to accessorize with hats, scarves and bangles.

“Well timed advertising campaigns sparked sales of electricals as consumers’ sort out new TVs and the latest high-tech mobile phones to catch the Euro 2016 action at home and on-the-go.

“With the referendum fallout still uncertain, retailers will need to make sure all channels are ready and resilient to cope with the impact of a Brexit.”

For Media Enquiries:
Zoe Maddison
British Retail Consortium
T 0207 854 8924
E Zoe.Maddison@brc.org.uk

Source: BRC

State of Retailing Online 2016: online sales and traffic is now led by smartphones and not tablets

Washington, 2016-1-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The growing use of smartphones by consumers, a shift in investments by technology companies and continued optimization strategies from retailers has officially landed smartphones on top as a driver of sales and traffic for retail companies. According to the State of Retailing Online 2016, conducted by Shop.org, Forrester Research Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) and Bizrate Insights, mobile as a percentage of both online sales and traffic is now led by smartphones and not tablets.

Specifically, retailers surveyed report smartphone sales accounted for 17 percent of their total online sales in 2015, edging ahead of the 14 percent generated via tablets. Overall, retailers said sales from smartphone devices grew 53 percent over the previous year, while sales from tablet devices grew 32 percent.

According to the report, retailers continue to keep their mobile investments at a more moderate level: 30 percent of those surveyed say they invested less than $10,000 on smartphone platforms in 2015, and 17 percent kept budgets between $10,000 and $50,000. When it comes to tablets, the investments are even smaller. Nearly four in 10 (37%) said they made no additional investment in their tablet offerings in 2015, compared to 18 percent who left smartphones out of their investment plans for 2015; 11 percent of retailers surveyed said they put $10,000 to $50,000 into tablet investments last year.

“Retailers are now recognizing that their customers may not need a bigger, more expansive shopping experience on mobile platforms – they need a consistent, relevant and user-friendly experience that will shape their online and in-store shopping behaviors,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Even with relatively small investments in their mobile initiatives, retailers are seeing tremendous growth in both sales that come from smartphones and the level of customer engagement from mobile across the brand.”

“Retailers are building their mobile platforms with strong customer engagement strategies in mind, allowing their shoppers to easily ‘click and buy’ or research in-store availability,” continued Cantrell. “For today’s consumer, this is all just a part of modern-day shopping; though for retailers, it’s a constant balance of where and how much to invest into the mobile experience and infrastructure.”

That said, the report did find that more mobile investment is on the horizon for retailers. And, it’s clear smartphones are where retailers have earmarked this investment. The survey found that one-third of retailers surveyed plan to grow their smartphone investments more than 20 percent in 2016, and another 34 percent will grow their investments between 1 and 20 percent. One in five (22%) will grow their tablet investment more than 20 percent in 2016.

“It’s the age of the customer and retailers need to be wherever shoppers are when they’re browsing and buying. It’s essential to provide value on those devices and in those moments, which are often in stores,” Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru said. “While mobile phones still represent promise, savvy retailers will be leveraging mobile with their customers to positively influence in-store sales as well.”

Tablets growing in importance for store associates

Tablets may ultimately find a bigger purpose in stores, helping store associates provide greater service to customers.

The survey found that of the 36 percent who use mobile devices in stores, one-quarter of those use tablets. Two in five (44%) say their associates use tablets to show additional products not available in stores and four in 10 use the devices to send e-receipts; 23 percent use them to check inventory in warehouses and 21 percent use tablets to check their actual in-store inventory.

Media can request a copy of the complete report by emailing press@nrf.com.

About the State of Retailing Online Report
The State Of Retailing Online research series, which provides eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals with annual industry benchmarks of marketing and business investment and activities, surveyed 195 companies in September and October 2015. Industries surveyed included apparel, footwear, general merchandise, home furnishings, and personal care.

About Forrester Research
Forrester Research is one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. We work with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that drive growth. Forrester’s unique insights are grounded in annual surveys of more than 500,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide, rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of our most innovative clients. Through proprietary research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, the Forrester experience is about a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge the thinking of our clients to help them lead change in their organizations.

About Bizrate Insights
With over 27 million surveys collected annually from over 6,000 retailers worldwide, Bizrate Insights is one of the largest sources of verified customer-generated seller ratings and reviews, helping both retailers and consumers make informed decisions. Bizrate Insights’ solutions cover online and mobile visitors, online and mobile buyers, as well as retail store buyers. Our core solutions are free, allowing retailers of all sizes to build best-in-class customer experiences, gain competitive intelligence, and attract more qualified traffic from top search engines.

About Shop.org
Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, is the world’s leading community for digital retail, offering thought leadership through original research and gold standard events. The community is made up of exclusive networking groups and committees that lead the global conversation surrounding innovative e-commerce trends and digital retail. Shop.org members include some of the world’s largest most respected retail, technology, research, and consulting companies. www.shop.org

Kathy Grannis Allen
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

SOURCE: National Retail Federation

BRC-KPMG ONLINE RETAIL SALES MONITOR JANUARY 2015: Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 11.7% in January vs a year earlier

LONDON, 2015-2-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 11.7% in January versus a year earlier, when it had risen by 19.2% over the previous year. This month’s growth is close to the 12-month average of 12.0%. In January 2015, online sales represented 18.4% of total Non-Food sales, against 16.8% in January 2014.

Toys & Baby Equipment was the second fastest growing category in January, reporting its best growth since it became an RSM category in June 2014. Footwear also experienced its best performance since December 2012.

Online sales contributed 2.0 percentage points to the growth of Non-Food total sales in January. The 3-month average contribution of online to Non-Food growth exceeded that of stores for the fifth consecutive month.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Online sales for January tend to be strong with people enjoying surfing for online bargains after the busy frenzy of Christmas shopping. With the January penetration rate only second to November this shows just how popular online sales were.

“As websites continue to improve with more stock being listed online it is not a surprise that we loved buying online this January. We were particularly enthusiastic about buying shoes online as over £1 in every £3 of footwear purchases was spent online, perhaps because we could see immediately whether our size was still available in the sales. Retailers who have invested in an omni-channel strategy will certainly take comfort in these figures.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Online sales had a strong January, bolstered by seasonal sales campaigns and targeted marketing drives. This side of retailers’ business has a leading role to play in driving overall sales growth, with more shoppers than ever choosing the convenience of buying online.

“In order to significantly move the dial substantial spend is needed to improve the robustness of retailers’ systems and improve the experience for customers. Retailers’ online operations warrant the lion’s share of their investment budgets this year.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.