We’re gearing up for ChannelX World this week, when we’ll be in London to explore the emerging channels that retailers, brands and more are now using to reach new customers in a new conference from our sister title ChannelX, formerly Tamebay. We’ll be hearing from leaders at businesses from TikTok, to Amazon, eBay, Wish, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and many more on selling via channels from marketplaces to social media. Ahead of the event, we feature an interview with Alan Small of Wish, on how the mobile-first marketplace sees – and is planning for – its future.
The importance of finding new channels is highlighted by the latest BRC/KPMG retail sales figures, which show sales growing overall in September but falling back online as shoppers return in-store to buy in the wake of Covid-19 trading restrictions – and vaccinations.
That’s something ScS also reports today. It’s seen online sales fall by almost a third in its latest full-year – but at the same time its in-store sales are growing. The overall result is higher overall sales, although sales in its current financial year are weakening in the face of inflation. The furniture retailer is responding by investing in digital in its stores. Indeed, it’s moved its digital team into a concept store in Coventry so they can work out what works best for customers. Early innovations include in-store QR codes and digital stations featuring an ‘endless aisle’.
Omnichannel retailer Quiz says it’s benefitting as demand returns across its channels, but most notably in-store, for the dressy and occasionwear that it sells. However, like others, including ScS, it saw demand fall back in August and September as shoppers lost confidence.
As sales shift away from online post-Covid, and as customers potentially cut back against the effects of inflation, retailers will be working to enable shoppers to buy in the way that best suits them. There’s a further example of that from Amazon today, as it brings forward the start of its peak trading discounting in order to enable shoppers to spread the cost while also, no doubt, increasing its share of their spending.
And we also report as SportsShoes.com plans a new tech and creative hub that it says will help it meet its ambition of being the world’s most sustainable running equipment retailer by 2025. Not only is the retailer meeting shoppers’ demand for sustainable products, but it will also be saving money on its energy bills thanks to its extensive use of solar power.
And in a timely guest comment, Stuart Wilkinson of SAP argues that the consumer packaged goods industry must now take action on making products more sustainable.