Retail and eCommerce Round-up

Shopify sales reach $2.4 billion in record breaking Black Friday

Source: Tamebay

For the first time, consumers in the UK are expected to spend more online than in retail stores this Christmas. With record-breaking sales being reported throughout the eCommerce sector, Shopify have announced that their Black Friday sales increased 75% from last year.

Powering over one million businesses, the eCommerce platform received $2.4 billion in Black Friday orders. President of Shopify, Harley Finkelstein, said that over Black Friday alone, “merchants produced more than 80% of the sales of the entire holiday shopping weekend last year.”

Shopify Black Friday 2020 Highlights:

  • The average Black Friday cart total was $90.70, an 11% increase from last year
  • The UK, US, and Canada were all top-selling countries
  • 14% of orders were cross-border
  • Health and beauty, apparel and accessories, and home and garden were top-selling categories

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Royal Mail WISMO crisis as service overwhelmed

Source: Tamebay

A delayed package is something we have all experienced when shopping online, causing frustration and disappointment. The sheer volume of delays has led to the birth of the industry acronym WISMO, which stands for ‘where is my order’. Due to the number of pandemic shoppers, Royal Mail have been struggling to meet delivery expectations since March.  

Despite hiring 33,000 Christmas staff, Royal Mail are experiencing serious difficulties fulfilling orders, forcing the company to release the following statement:

“Despite our best efforts, exhaustive planning and significant investment in extra resource, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards.

This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices.

In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can.”

If you have purchased an item that is due to be delivered via Royal Mail, we recommend that you are patient and try to avoid sending the company a WISMO enquiry.

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Shopping App Engagement Shatters Records Over Black Friday

Source: Internet Retailing

New data has revealed that record-breaking numbers of UK consumers used mobile apps to secure their Black Friday deals, with in-app revenue increasing by 97% compared with 2019.

While there were record-breaking in-app purchases, revenue per app install only grew by 12% compared with 2019. These findings suggest that sales increased significantly because of the four-week lockdown imposed on 5th November, which prevented retails stores from trading on Black Friday and left consumers with no alternative but to shop online. 

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Debenhams set to close putting 12,000 jobs at risk

Source: BBC News

The events that defined 2020 have had a catastrophic effect on the retail industry, with many high street stores struggling to find their feet post-lockdown. While many retailers are hanging in there, the displacement of consumers to online shopping appears to be the final straw for Debenhams.

Founded in 1778, Debenhams entered administration in April following the first national lockdown, and any hopes of a recovery were dashed when potential bidder, JD Sports, pulled out of negotiations. The chain of department stores is set to enter liquidation, announcing plans to close 124 shops. As a result, 12,000 employees are set to lose their jobs if a last-minute bidder doesn’t save the company.

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13,000 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group plunges into administration

Source: Retail Gazette

The retail industry was recently dealt another blow, with Arcadia Group entering administration on 30th November 2020, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. Operating 444 stores in the UK, the British multinational retailing company owns several high street clothing retailers including Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Topman, and Topshop.

Arcadia Group chief executive Ian Grabiner cited the global pandemic as a key reason the company has entered administration. He said “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.”

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 2021 ecommerce trends according to SearchNode report

Source: Tamebay

In light of the global pandemic, SearchNode released their 2021 eCommerce trends report which included key insights around how eCommerce leaders have coped during this turbulent year and what they plan to do next year.

Here are some of SearchNode’s findings:

  • 90% of eCommerce leaders saw their sales increase compared to pre-pandemic volumes
  • 42% of respondents plan to sell through social media next year
  • 45% of the respondents will offer financing for their customers next year
  • 59% of respondents claim they will be offering free returns next year

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