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Fashion retailers to reap benefits from Christmas sales

New report reveals Christmas sales could see double or triple revenue and orders growth, but marketers need to streamline the whole customer journey on mobile to target UK consumers

London: 24th September 2019: While retailers have struggled in the summer sales, new research suggests fashion retailers will be benefitting later in the year, with apparel goods set to be the most popular purchase in the Christmas sales. This is according to CJ Affiliate’s latest Holiday Intelligence Report, which revealed that apparel goods were the most-purchased items in the Christmas sales last year, boasting the highest year-on-year increase in orders and revenue. On Cyber Monday alone, online apparel orders increased by more than a third (37%) year-on-year.

Yet, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are losing their dominance, with the report revealing other emerging high sales conversion periods that will likely play an even bigger role in 2019. Black Friday boasted the most orders in one day last year, but the following weekend saw more customer conversions. Order growth increased by a third (33%) and sales by almost a quarter (24%), demonstrating how British consumers like to shop in their free time at the weekend.

The Christmas season isn’t just about buying gifts. When already browsing around for the perfect presents, shoppers will also be looking to stock up on other items they need for the rest of the year,” commented Jules Bazley, Regional Vice President at CJ Affiliate. “It’s been a tough summer, with both in-store and online fashion retailers forced to slash their summer sale prices early this year, leaving marketers with a strong desire to maximise returns over the Christmas season. That means looking beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday, delivering more balanced campaigns before, during and after the perceived Christmas season peak with well-placed promotions targeting the right consumers at exactly the right time.

Brits also panic buy Christmas gifts last-minute, with the third week of December accounting for the greatest increase in orders and revenue growth year-on-year. This week boasted triple digit growth (111%) in orders and almost doubled its revenue and share of the winter sales (45%). Boxing Day sales continue to play an important role for British consumers, with year-on-year order growth matching that of Black Friday (20%) last year and generating greater year-on-year sales growth at 8%, compared to 5% growth on Black Friday.

Mobile rules in the UK A growing trend in recent years, mobile devices have now officially overtaken desktops and Brits in particular like to shop on the go. Almost half (46%) of UK winter sales orders in 2018 were made on smartphones, beating purchases made on desktops for the first time and highlighting the need to not only push mobile-first marketing approaches but to also consistently ensure a great mobile user experience throughout the customer journey, including easy mobile checkout options, to convert more shoppers this year. Tablets, on the other hand, are losing popularity with Brits – usage is down 36% compared with the previous year.

Mobile also dominated amongst publishers. Share of order and sales were boosted most by mobile publishers, followed by ad networks and social publishers, who both boasted a 40% increase in share of orders, demonstrating shoppers’ increasing reliance on features such as shopping assistants, product reviews and product discovery platforms. In contrast, email publishers saw the biggest decline in order and revenue share.

For fashion brands targeting British consumers, mobile promotions and easy mobile checkout will win out this year,” concluded Bazley. “However, this alone will not cut it, consumers are savvier, carrying out their own research, checking reviews and they expect a lot more from their shopping experience. To really make the most of the winter season opportunities this year, marketers need to be executing campaigns that put consumers’ needs first through creating a seamless, holistic shopping experience across all devices.”