Very says online consumers shopped differently this Christmas
In a transformative year for retail, online fashion brand Very highlighted the six ways that consumers adapted to Christmas shopping restrictions during lockdown.
They made an earlier start than usual to Christmas shopping, beginning in October and November. It cited the closure of some stores, competitive deals online and nervousness around delivery and product availability.
And consumers working from home browsed more during work hours. It found online searches rose between 9am and 5pm, and consumers shopped less after 5pm compared with last Christmas.
Shopping via mobile apps also accelerated. Consumers wanted the speed, convenience and personalised experience, so sales through Very’s mobile app grew by 33% year-on-year during the festive period. Orders via mobile web, and desktop & tablet devices saw only modest growth, despite consumers being at home more, it noted.
Despite the move towards casualwear during lockdown with fewer social occasions on the horizon, demand for premium fashion and footwear actually grew by 28% year-on-year at Very. The results suggest consumers treated themselves and their families “to the very best designer brands this festive period, having saved on fashion throughout the pandemic”. Of course, sportswear and loungewear also continued to be popular, it noted.
Comfort considerations grew too. Home improvement was high on consumers’ agenda this Christmas. Very saw its home category grow by 46% compared to last year, including a 48% increase in furniture sales. The retailer also saw over 200% growth in home improvement, comprising flooring and paint, as more of us started DIY projects.
And with stay-at-home shopping becoming the norm, click-&-collect became less popular. Some 18% of parcels were delivered to click-&-collect locations, down 7% compared with the previous Christmas, as more consumers opted for doorstep delivery.
Sam Perkins, retail managing director at The Very Group, said: “While many of the trends we saw over Christmas have endured into January, we slowly expect normal service to resume as the vaccine rollout begins to take effect and Covid-19 measures start to lift. We believe there will be pent-up demand among customers, who will be keen to resume normal life, go out and go on holiday, which in turn will see a gradual return to more normal online buying patterns. This will benefit non-food retailers and we think fashion, in particular, will be resurgent.”
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