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EDITORIAL Consumers are starting their Christmas shopping – what are the Peak trends for 2021?

Christmas is coming and now is the time to act

Poised for a summer vacation, it is hard to countenance that many shoppers are already starting their Christmas shopping, but that is what research by eBay Ads finds that as many as a quarter are planning to start their shopping before the end of the month.

This is backed up by a separate set of figures also out this week from Future that finds that over lockdown consumers saved some £200bn and are going to be spending it on Christmas goodies – all to make up for the frankly awful couple of years we have all endured.

Great news for retailers then, who should by now also be starting their Peak planning for Black Friday – which Future’s research suggests 82% of shoppers are going to actively engage in this year – and into the yuletide peak.

But what will peak look like this year? Clearly, shoppers are going to be more omni-channel than everand, assuming stores stay open between now and December, retailers both pureplay and mixed, need to be ready to tap into that.

Part of that means being a responsible brand: tailoring your offering and attendant marketing efforts to showcase just how ethical and eco-responsible you are. Data from a Censuswide survey finds that More than a third (35%) of online shoppers in the UK will only associate with ‘responsible’ brands – including those that treat staff fairly, source goods ethically, and do not misuse consumer data.

Secondly, retailers need to look at how to tap into the growing boom for international D2C shopping, especially among millennials. These guys and gals are going to drive much of the peak sales online this year and they are starting to shop it very different ways.

The other trope that will reshape this year’s peak is mobile. More shoppers than ever are using mobile as their way into ecommerce and retailers need to be ready. One exemplar of this is Woodhouse Clothing. Seeing an increasing amount of its sales coming through mobile, it opted to revamp its app to offer the rich and rewarding experience its decerning clients demand – with great results.

These are just some of the trends in retail that will shape Peak 2021 – there will be many more that emerge as the weeks tick by towards Christmas. To get a head start on what they might be, take a look at the newly published second edition of the RetailX Europe Growth 3000 report, which showcases just how these leading growth retailers across the EEA have generated increasing sales.

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