Cashing In On Christmas Sofa Surfers
By Lorna Dunne, Head of UK Trading – Lifestyle & Health at eBay.
As businesses shut up shop for Christmas, shoppers across the UK are heading indoors to hang up their stockings and get the festivities underway. But whilst seasonal shopping may have come to an end, this is no time for retailers to rest on their laurels. In fact, a golden window of opportunity exists for those who have the appetite to make the most of shoppers ready to spend during the post-Christmas period.
Although the tradition of traipsing round the high street and searching through Boxing Day sales has declined in popularity, there are still plenty of active shoppers online – ready to purchase from the comfort of their homes. And the good news is that fashion retailers are in a prime position to capitalise on these ‘sofa surfers’ looking for a deal. Previous year’s reveal that from the 25th to 31st December ebay.co.uk received over four million searches in the Clothes, Shoes & Accessories category alone.
So rather than sitting back and enjoying the festive rest just yet, here’s a handful of tips to help retailers embrace the ‘sofa surfing’ trend and capitalise on this lucrative window of opportunity between Christmas and New Year.
Get to know your customers
Understanding your audience is vital. Start by harnessing the data at your disposal from online platforms – such as shopper behaviour and purchase patterns. Then, once you have insight into customers’ habits, wants and needs, you can make informed predictions about their future purchases – and tailor their shopping experience accordingly.
For example, a regular purchaser of trainers may be in the market for the latest pair that’s on trend. Or if you know a shopper is a sportswear fan, think about how you can inspire them with some new kit to kick-start their New Year exercise regime.
Reach shoppers at the ideal moment
We’ve all been on the receiving end of a dress or jumper that just doesn’t hit the mark. So it’s no surprise that many savvy shoppers are already on the lookout for great deals on 25th December itself. According to data from ebay.co.uk, “unwanted Christmas presents” featured in the top five searches on the site on Christmas Day last year, ranking as the day’s most searched-for term in the Clothes, Shoes & Accessories category.
And as shoppers logged on in their droves from 25th to 26th December, ebay.co.uk saw more than one million searches in the Clothes, Shoes & Accessories category over these two days alone.
By using shopping data to gain insight into specific customer behaviour, you can better understand how to manage your stock effectively and prepare for these trends ahead of time. And the beauty of online retail is that it offers sellers the flexibility to approach customers in a meaningful and timely manner, connecting with them with the right product at exactly the right moment.
Good listings are golden
During retail peaks, when a large bulk of your competition will be online, make sure your virtual shop window and products stand out from the crowd and attract shoppers. There are plenty of ways to make your listings more appealing to customers – from using high resolution images to comprehensive product descriptions.
And with big brands likely to top shopping lists between Christmas and New Year yet again, it’s more important than ever for retailers – big and small – to ensure online listings are compelling. And the devil is in the details – from the colour, size, shape and material of the item, to the method of delivery, you need to neatly package up all the information shoppers might need to make their purchase.
Remember, the listing also affects how easily shoppers can find your products when they search. Adapt your description to meet the needs of your customers; for instance, if a particular dress or pair of shoes would be perfect for a New Year’s Eve party, make sure your listing highlights this. The more relevant keywords you provide, the more visibility you’ll get for your products.
After a hectic build up to Christmas, it may be tempting to down tools and relax until the January sales kick in. However, the opportunities in the fashion sector during this time are simply too great to miss out on. To capitalise on this period and ride the wave of the ‘sofa surfers’, stay focused, have relevant products in place for customers, and let the right people know about your stock at the appropriate time.
Thanks to Lorna Dunne.