Close this search box.

This year’s Peak Week is driven by mobile

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

This ‘Peak Week’, mobile is going to being playing two key roles: firstly, it is set to be the battle ground for overseas shoppers – especially from China – looking to buy UK, European and US goods; and secondly, mobile will be changing the face of the store.

Online sales on mobile from China are hotting-up. Single’s Day this week showed that mobile is a force to be reckoned with in online shopping. Chinese shoppers clearly led the charge, hitting UK online stores hard this year.

While Single’s Day is largely a Chinese affair, it has spread overseas. But what makes it an interesting bell weather for what is to come in the next few weeks, is that Chinese shoppers love European, US and UK goods. They bear the mark of quality and foreign chic. Also, they are easy to get.

As we said last week, this Single’s Day effectively fires the starting gun on the peak season. With Black Friday still more than a week away, emails are already hitting my inbox from leading retailers saying that their Black Friday sales start this week.

With this in mind, Single’s Day also shows what is coming down the pipe for that peak season running up to Christmas. And it could get messy.

As we report. Chinese retailer AliExpress is climbing rapidly in the app stores, poised to make its mark on mobile shopping during the week of Black Friday 2017. US retailers are bracing themselves for both a rapid influx of orders from China – and elsewhere overseas – and for AliExpress et al to become serious marketplace players in the US, UK and European markets. Things are going to get competitive in extremis.

It will be interesting to see how Amazon shapes up to the overseas threat on Black Friday.

Amazon also figures in the second great mobile theme this peak season: stores. Research from Colliers International shows that a growing number of formerly ‘pure-play’ online retailers are opening physical stores as the rate of internet sales growth looks set to slow during the next few years – something Amazon has done the past few Christmases.

While, this is a longer-term issue than just this peak season – the study shows that by 2021, the rate of growth in e-commerce sales is expected to decline from the current level of around 11% to 7% with online retailers are increasingly using physical stores to bolster their sales and their brands – this Christmas we are going to start to see this trend born out.

And shoppers seemingly will love it. 81% of UK consumers see the physical store as vital to the shopping experience and 70% say they enjoy the full experience of going into stores to browse, see what’s new and buy what they like. 30% are “showroomers” using retail stores to try goods out before they buy online.

According to new research from Vista Retail Support, 59% of UK consumers surveyed say they prefer to find and buy goods in person, with 30% of all shoppers using shops to showroom before buying online.

These showroomers used to be seen as a threat to many retailers, but it turns out that they are just shoppers doing shopping in the internet age. They still want the stores and to see, feel, taste and smell the goods, but they will also use the web to make the buying process easier and better. Who knew?

One interesting upshot of these showroomers is that you can leverage what they do online in your stores – especially on Facebook – to steal a march on Amazon. According to Declan Kennedy, CEO, StitcherAds, in this week’s Guest Opinion piece, Facebook can help you gain the kind of insight that Amazon already has into its customers for your customers. If you have a store and online presence, this starts to make you look like you could actually take on Amazon (and Alibaba, as mentioned above).

Mobile, as you can see is going to play a leading role in this year’s peak season – and it looks like 2018 is set to be a really interesting new year.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on