Retailers gear up to win battle for Christmas online shopping rush
Retail giants are battling to entice cash-strapped consumers with a slew of online discounts and sales this year.
Spending is expected to slip by up to half on Black Friday this year, against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis, Wunderman Thompson research has forecast.
Online retailers are set to benefit from the crunch, with just over three quarters of shoppers surveyed saying they will increase spending specifically online to hunt the best bargains on the likes of Amazon.
Alibaba’s AliExpress has launched its annual shopping festival two weeks earlier than the previous mid-November sale around Singles Day. It will also see discounts of up to 20 per cent and a partnership with buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna, to entice early Christmas shoppers.
While various bits of research has suggested that consumers are planning on forking out less for Christmas and Black Friday-style events are set to under-perform, Danni Hewson financial analyst at AJ Bell, said shoppers would still be hunting for the best deals.
“Whether they’re the first out of the gates, the retailer with the splashiest offers, the one with the best return policy, expect every trick to be utilised by companies right around the globe,” Hewson added.
Although it would hopefully be the first Christmas for a couple of years that hasn’t been dogged by Covid lockdowns, “it’s not going to be the Christmas retailers had hoped for,” she warned.
Brits are facing sky-high energy bills and sharp increases to grocery bills, with inflation now sitting at a 40-year high of 10.1 per cent.
One in three of those shoppers said they would slash present budgets for close friends and family by over £25 per person, according to data from market insights firm Kantar.
Earlier this autumn, Tesco chief Ken Murphy warned the supermarket was anticipating that Brits would opt to buy “smaller” Christmas gifts. He also said the firm expected shoppers to buy gifts for a “tighter group” within their family and friends.
“This holiday season, we can expect more retailers to engage with shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in a bid to stand out amongst the competition,” Neil Shah, executive director of content and strategy at Edison Group, told CityA.M.
“This approach could lead to a swathe of companies offering ‘last-minute’ and ‘limited stock’ deals in an effort to shore up their financial position as the cost-of-living crisis begins to freeze family finances,” Shah added.