Monthly Retail Round-Up - November 2018

Some of the best articles from the world of retail and its supporting industries.

Monthly Retail Round-Up - November 2018

November has been a busy month in the world of retail with Black Friday deals lasting longer than ever and lots of other retail news. Here are the top stories to keep you up to date.

1) Record-Breaking Black Friday

Black Friday is the biggest discounting day of the year and has been a hot topic of conversation this November. This year many retailers started their campaigns earlier, with discounts lasting up to 2 whole weeks and a number of retailers offering up to 50% off selected products. Even Jigsaw failed to stick to their pricing manifesto of 2015 that said it would not reduce prices in season and launched their first Black Friday Sale with 20% off selected products (Drapers).

Also reported in Drapers, data from Lovethesales.com showed us that more and more retailers are taking part and offering more deals with larger discounts.

  • A total of 72% more UK retailers are taking part in Black Friday this year than in 2017
  • There are currently 26% more Black Friday deals on offer than last year
  • The average discount is 37%, compared with 33% in 2017 and 30% in 2016
  • A total of 51% of all retail products are currently discounted, and 82% of products will drop in price over the Black Friday weekend

Other data published in Internet Retailing indicated that customers were moving away from the physical stores to shop the discounts from the convenience of their own homes.

  • Shoppers spent £1.49bn online with UK retailers on Black Friday. That was 7.3% ahead of the same day last year, but didn’t meet IMRG forecasts of +13.2%. (IMRG estimates)
  • On Black Friday itself, footfall was 5.4% down compared to the same time last year, and continued to be down over Saturday (-5.6%) and Sunday (-4.3%). (Springboard)
  • Online transactions were up 46% ahead of last year on Friday. (Loqate)

Reported in Retail Systems “Some forecasters predicting that consumers will have spent a total £7 billion over the four-day sales bonanza.” John Lewis had their biggest sales week in its history with fashion sales rising 13.1% on last year, “fuelled by Black Friday promotions on branded items as John Lewis price matched its competitors’ offers” (Drapers).

Have a look at the Black Friday Drapers 2018 deal tracker here.

2) Asos Rolls Out Fit Technology

Retail Systems reported that “Asos is rolling out an artificial intelligence (AI) sizing tool across its global websites and mobile apps.”

The partnership with Fit Analytics, helps Asos provide bespoke sizing recommendations for all their customers, based on data from previous purchases and returns. For a more improved and personalised result, customers can answer 3 additional questions about height, weight and fit preference.

Andy Berks, Digital Product Director, Asos said in a press release, reported in Drapers, “We want to do all we can to make sure our customers are getting the right size, first time. This is where Asos Fit Assistant comes in – we can now offer personalised size recommendations across Asos collections, exclusive labels and fashion favourites.”

Returns cost a huge amount to retailers every year, with many customers buying multiple sizes. The Fit Assistant feature will help customers get the sizing right the first time, therefore eliminating ordering multiple sizes and improving customer experience. A benefit to both the retailer and the customer.

3) Matalan’s Omnichannel Experience

Fashion and home retailer, Matalan has launched an initiative this November with the purpose of improving their omnichannel strategy and customer experience.

Reported in Fashion Network, “Matalan has opened a user experience lab in its head office in Knowsley in an effort to better understand its consumers’ shopping journey.” Matalan proposes to bring customers to the UX lab to interact with them more frequently. This will help them get a wider understanding of their customers online shopping journeys and behaviour, along with feedback on their omnichannel proposition, in an aim to find new solutions and improvements.

Paul Hornby, Director of Ecommerce, Matalan (reported in Fashion Network) said, “Our UX Lab re-enforces our customer-centric, omnichannel ambitions. We’ve always had the opportunity to interact with our customers in store but haven’t had the same opportunity online. That has now changed and this step-change in our access to qualitative data from real customers will help us continue to improve the omnichannel customer experience.”

4) N Brown Partners with Decoded

Retail Week reported, “N Brown has partnered with tech firm Decoded to train employees in its organisation to use data and analytics.” N Brown “plans to use the technology throughout the business from optimising the customer journey to predicting consumer demand for a product or improving employee retention rates.”

In a statement, published in Retail Times, Gareth Powell, Director of Data Science, N Brown, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to upskill more of our colleagues in Data Science from a mind set and technical perspective. Data is now ingrained in online retail and is a fundamental pillar for the future growth of N Brown.”

A similar partnership was made in July this year with M&S. Reported in Retail Week, M&S partnered with Decoded for their biggest digital investment to date, to create “the world’s first retail data academy”, with the aim of becoming the “most data-literate leadership team in retail”.

We hope you enjoyed the round-up. Please feel free to get in touch with any stories you feel would be of interest.

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