IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality


Black Friday 2017
  • 23 Oct

Black Friday 2017 Survey

Black Friday 2017: all you need to know When is Black Friday 2017? This year, Black Friday 2017 falls on Friday 24th November. We expect the discounting event to continue over the weekend, with Cyber Monday on 27th November, and stretching over the rest of the week. Last year, £1.23bn was spent online on Black Friday alone, making it the UK’s first billion pound shopping day. Spanning the whole week, from Monday 21st November to Monday 28th November in 2016, online sales rose to an estimated £6.5bn in the UK. But how many people will shop on Black Friday this year, taking place in just 5 weeks’ time? The results may surprise you, as the “death of Black Friday” has begun to dominate the retail headlines, with retailers reluctant to participate in order to protect their margins. As in previous years, check out our Black Friday 2017 research in our infographic below. Black Friday 2017 infographic In order to analyse consumer sentiment towards Black Friday trading, this year 400 respondents took our Black Friday survey, powered by digital insights company Toluna. See our full findings in the below Black Friday 2017 infographic. You can view our Black Friday 2016 survey results here. For the first time ever, more consumers plan to avoid Black Friday this year than those who are planning to participate. With just under half of respondents planning to buy something on Black Friday (49%), this is significantly lower than the same percentage as in 2016. Of course, this does not account for the impulse buyers that could take unexpected advantage of deals over the sale period. However, many analysts have pointed towards the fact consumers have become accustomed to an ongoing discounting calendar throughout the year. Summer and autumn in particular have been stunted by mid-season sales. If sales and discounts are less of a “big deal”, and just part of the retail fabric, it’s understandable why the consumer mindset has shifted in the same way as Black Friday becomes “just another sale day”. Another reason for the declining popularity of Black Friday can be understood from consumers’ strong disdain for Black Friday “hype” – over a third of respondents (33%) dislike Black Friday for this reason. An online-only affair 79% of respondents are set to be online Black Friday shoppers, which is a small increase on 77% in 2016. The shift to online in recent years can be tracked through our research displayed in the infographic. The majority of Black Friday spend in 2016 was via online channels, rising 12% year on year. Ensuring that you have extra capacity in place is critical for omnichannel retailers and pureplay etailers alike, as a surge in website traffic can cause fatal outages for those who are unprepared. As well as completing special data capacity increase projects for peak trading, Retail Assist’s 24×7 operations monitoring and support is facilitating greater systems uptime, which is critical for any brand over Black Friday. Priming your retail operations for peak trading Long…
Read more
  • 31 Oct

Black Friday Survey 2016

Black Friday 2016 is hot on the agenda for retailers, taking place at the end of the November – from Friday 25th November and across the long weekend. Current predictions have indicated that online channels (especially mobile) are ones to watch this Black Friday: £5billion is expected to be splashed out over “Black Fiveday”, and that just accounts for online spend. In order to analyse the consumer opinion of Black Friday trading, this year 300 respondents took our Black Friday survey. See our full findings in the below Black Friday infographic. You can view our Black Friday 2015 survey results here. With just over half of respondents planning to buy something on Black Friday (59%), this is the same percentage as in 2015. As mentioned before, it may seem low, but this figure doesn’t take into account the amount of impulse buyers that could take unexpected advantage of “don’t miss deals” over the Fiveday sale periods. Although last year predictions totalled £1billion, in reality UK shoppers spent £3.3bn over the weekend online and in-store. This is the “unpredictable” demand, in the face of which retailers have geared up to prime and protect their ecommerce platforms, logistics and supply chain operations for maximum performance. Will 2016 sales top £5bn predictions? Time will tell.  54% of respondents are looking to take advantage of the extended Black “Fiveday” discount period, making multiple purchases across the weekend. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales may also affected due to the event falling before the traditional UK payday. A massive 77% of respondents are set to be online Black Friday shoppers, which is an increase on 70% in 2015. The move to online has been reported on extensively in recent years, as the scrumlike fights in-store for discount TVs in 2014 have given over to purchases behind screens and virtual queueing. This is perhaps due to consumer frustrations and fears about a hectic in-store Black Friday experience. Did you know that 40% of consumers won’t queue for longer than 2 minutes, and 51% refuse to even enter a store if they see a queue? Increased demand means a busy store is inevitable, but making customer service more efficient should be a number one priority for retailers during peak trading season. Till down-time and queueing are preventable issues, if you have the correct support in place. Our IT Help Desk analysts are experienced in front line retail service, and understand the real impact of systems downtime at peak periods. Our 24×7 IT and technical support facilitates greater systems uptime at point of service, critical for any brand, any time of year. You can download our How To Guide: Preparing Stores for Peak Trading, here. Make sure to check out our post Black Friday analysis blog, for a full analysis and breakdown of this year’s event. If you’d like to use our survey results, please get in touch at marketing@retail-assist.co.uk.…
Read more
Gen Z
  • 6 Jun

Gen Z vs Gen X vs Gen Y: Shopping Habits Survey

For the purpose of this blog and infographic, Gen Z refers to those aged 14-21, Gen Y 22-35 and Gen X 36-55.  Generation Z. Born post-1995, in the age group 14-21, they’ve proved a difficult bunch to define; previously upcoming ‘influencers’ within the retail and hospitality market but now with new-found buying power and a disruptive influence that makes them the most lucrative market to target. They’re switched on, price conscious, and hyper connected to their surroundings – including social media and technology. They want it now, they won’t wait, and have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips ready to influence their buying decisions. After researching Gen Y and Gen X shopping habits last year, Retail Assist’s latest survey has revealed some critical information regarding Gen Z shopping habits, and debunked some common myths that might surprise you… Here are our top 5 takeaways from the survey: The high street is not dead for Gen Z, with 58% of respondents choosing this as their favourite method of shopping. Click and collect is not popular with Gen Z: 61% have never used it. Nearly three quarters of Gen Z don’t have their favourite retailer’s app installed on their smartphone. 73% of Gen Z would made a purchase due to a social media recommendation. When shopping, 84% of Gen Z make it a social activity, i.e. a part of their day out, lunch/coffee/cinema. Please feel free to share the following full infographic of our findings. Analysis So, of the Gen Z-ers surveyed, what surprised us here? High St reigns supreme. Thought Gen Z was all about the online experience, clicks over bricks, and ecomm dominance? Think again. 58% of those we surveyed prefer to shop on the High Street, the highest percentage of any generation, compared to 40% of Gen Y and 48% of Gen X. Analysing the practical reasons behind this: not many 16y/os have online spending power – unable to transact online without a debit card, most shop with cash. With a lack of patience and a desire to acquire fast fashion “now”, the high street is also the best place to do so with no waiting for deliveries and the ability to take the product literally straight off the shelf. ‘Appy shoppers? Not for Gen Z. Although Gen Z admit being glued to their smartphones, 74% of them do not have their favourite retailer’s app installed. There are subtleties to be considered with Gen Z: just because they browse for products on their smartphones and devices, this doesn’t mean they desire an app to complete a purchase. The reason? Many of this age range don’t have big enough data contracts on their phones to support multiple app downloads. Instead, they prefer to use their devices to browse social media in order to discover more about product ranges.   What was concretized? Social media addiction. Gen Z idols are YouTube stars, vloggers, and Insta-famous fashionistas. They live in constant “FOMO”, fear of missing out, especially when something new is…
Read more
Black Friday 2015
  • 16 Nov

Vlog: Is the Black Friday model a sustainable approach to UK retailing?

In a shock turn of Black Friday events, retail giant Asda announced it’d be pulling out of this year’s proceedings. Arguably, as the Walmart-owned brand that first introduced the annual US tradition to the UK in 2013, Asda’s decision to refrain is a bold one. But, as our Head of Marketing explains in today’s vlog, is crippling annual Black Friday demand a sustainable model for UK retailers? Will others persevere with fulfilling customer expectations for mega discounting? Or will more retailers shy away from Black Friday?…
Read more
  • 19 Oct

Black Friday: Are You Ready?

Have you noticed the chill in the air recently? It’s the bated breath of retailers across the world as they brace themselves for the overwhelming consumer demand riding on the wave of Black Friday. Dramatic, but perhaps a necessary introduction: this year, it’s set to be even bigger, with the media latching onto the current prediction that November 27th could be the UK’s first ever £1billion shopping day. With just 6 weeks to go until Black Friday, here’s a few useful facts to start with: When is Black Friday 2015? 27th November How much did Black Friday make in 2014? $50.9 billion was spent during the 4 day Black Friday weekend worldwide in 2014. How much did Brits splash out online during Black Friday 2014? An estimated £810m, according to internet retail experts IMRG. This was an increase of 74% on 2013 figures. We have also examined the consumer sentiment around Black Friday in a recent Retail Assist survey. Check out the response in our infographic below (and don’t forget you can share with it with the embed code).   With just over half of respondents planning to buy something on Black Friday (59%), it might seem that the pre-event demand is on the low side, given the current £1bn predictions. However, this figure doesn’t take into account the amount of impulse buyers (potentially the remaining 41%), who may on the day decide to purchase in the face of rock-bottom prices. And it’s this “unpredictable” demand that caught the majority of retailers out last year (recall those day-long website blackouts, fatal supply chain breakdowns, and logistics nightmares?) In terms of the winter shopping season, Black Friday is still the premier shopping event, with 53% of people saying it’s their preferred discount shopping event. 36% prefer the New Year Sales, with a small 11% opting for Boxing Day, previously a well-established tradition in the retail calendar. Perhaps the most interesting majority is the massive 70% of respondents planning to shop Black Friday goods online, compared to just 30% in-store. This means that retailers will need to provide a faultless ecomm experience, and take preventative measures to ensure websites don’t go down. Apart from considerations of the scale of the event, many are wondering what else will be different this year. As retail IT specialists, we’re interested in the lessons learned from last year regarding supply chain resilience, including fulfilment and delivery promises. Some retailers, including Oasis, have announced plans to scale down this year, focussing on 100% fulfilment of the customer promise for a better brand experience, rather than over-exert and under-deliver. We might expect to see more social interaction in real-time from retailers updating customers on orders, to improve the customer experience further. Deliveries might experience a different slant this year; new click-and-collect charges could decrease consumer demand for delivery to store. However, omnichannel must still be a priority, as consumers expect the same Black Friday brand experience online as they would in-store, with a full range of order and…
Read more
  • 22 Jun

Festival Fashion Survey

Festival season is truly upon us in the UK! The rather wet June weather promises muddy fields and a whole lot of fun for Glastonbury goers later this week, as tradition goes. Ahead of the festival period, most retailers respond to festival fashion demand with a whole range of boho trends, rock get-up, extravagant accessories and quirky prints. But just how big is the festival trend this summer? And what are the true festival essentials? We carried out an original festival fashion survey to find out more. Please feel free to share our infographic with the embed code at the bottom of the page! Although 41% of people we surveyed haven’t been to a festival, this doesn’t seem to stop the festival trend returning year after year. It wasn’t surprising that wellies were the number one item for festivalgoers to pack, arguably the most essential item of clothing! This was followed by a great outfit, as the festival fashionistas look to score fashion brownie points by sporting the best festival wear, and of course Instagram their best look. It also came as no surprise that 56% of people go all out at a festival, and wear more extravagant outfits than usual. Just under half (48%) said that retailers should stock more festival wear. This perhaps points to the general positive trend in festival fashion ranges that retailers experience, and the fair amount of festival window displays and marketing campaigns that shoppers expect to see around May/June. Retailers can take their collections further and increase engagement by posting “Top 5 Festival looks” or trend pages, as our customers ASOS and Oasis have done. Will you be attending Glastonbury this week, or another festival this summer? What are your festival fashion essentials? Post your comments below! Share this Image On Your Site <p><strong>Please include attribution to www.retail-assist.co.uk with this graphic.</strong></p><br /> <p><a href=’http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/festival-fashion-survey/’><img src=’http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Retail-Assist-Festival-Survey.png’ alt=’Retail Assist Festival Survey’ width=’540px’ border=’0′ /></a></p><br /> <p>…
Read more
Gen X and Gen Y
  • 8 Jun

Gen X and Gen Y Shopping Survey

For the purpose of this blog and infographic, Gen X refers to those age 36-55, and Gen Y 15-35. To see our 2016 survey results including Gen Z click here. Much has been said about the all-consuming, tech-insatiable Generation Y, the “millennials” brought up to live and breathe in the digital age. They’re the profile of the future shopper. Samsung researched the 16-24 generation in their ‘Future Shoppers’ report late last year, which found that retailers needed to create in-store theatre with more innovative technology in order to appeal to the younger generation. But does this just apply to Generation Y? Or is this a trend amongst all consumers? At Retail Assist, we’re always keen to investigate the current trends, so we undertook an original survey to produce this Generation X vs Generation Y infographic: As you can see, the difference between Gen X and Gen Y’s use of technology doesn’t look startlingly different. The large majority of consumers are engaged with retail technology, and over 80% have an omnichannel approach. The same percentage are using apps to shop, an insight into the explosion of mobile across the UK consumer base. However, the high street still remains a popular channel for both Gen X and Y. Gen X and Y also have the same reservations when shopping online, with their biggest barrier to purchase being hidden delivery charges. Low cost convenience is high on both of their agendas, with click and collect used once a month by 28% of each group. The biggest difference our survey highlights is perhaps shopping online. 40% of Gen Y prefer to shop online, compared to just 8% of Gen X. The second most popular option for Gen X after the high street was shopping outlets, which cater to the discount mentality of many shoppers – same brand quality at lower prices. Perhaps the most interesting point to take forward from this research is that attitudes to omnichannel and the use of tech to shop is prevalent across the consumer base, and is not just exclusive to Gen Y. So retailers, tailor the shopping experience, but don’t neglect the fact that technology is fast becoming an enabler for all age groups. Do you have an opinion on the shopping habits in different generations? Or would you like to share our infographic? Please scroll down to use our comment box and embed code. Share this Image On Your Site <p><strong>Please include attribution to retail-assist.co.uk with this graphic.</strong></p> <p><a href=’http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/gen-x-gen-y-shopping-survey/’><img src=’http://www.retail-assist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Retail-Assist-Gen-X-and-Y-Survey1.png’ alt=’Gen X and Gen Y’ width=’540px’ border=’0′ /></a></p> <p>…
Read more
Retail Assist Summer Spending
  • 18 May

Summer Spending hotting up for Retailers

Last week, the latest retail sales statistics for April (BRC) were released, showing a positive underlying trend. Although the early Easter heavily distorted April’s figures, the UK experienced the best three-month average year-on-year growth since June last year. In light of this, we decided to conduct our very own Retail Assist Big Summer Survey, to find out consumers’ plans for summer holidays and summer retail spending. The majority of our survey respondents are still organising their summer holiday (61%), but that hasn’t stopped them starting to revamp their summer wardrobe! Here’s a Retail Assist infographic to share our findings (and feel free to share it with the embed code at the bottom).   Perhaps the most interesting stats to come out of our summer spending survey are the ways in which people prefer to shop for their holiday clothes. The high street reigned supreme, with an overwhelming 75% of consumers choosing this method, over mobile/tablet at 18%, and online at 7%. This almost reverses the current reports on the e-commerce boom. Because the most common reason people choose shopping on the high street is for ‘inspiration’, it could be that the high street shoppers are just browsing or window shopping. But, increasingly, the need to physically try on holiday clothes, and the warmer summer weather, means that most people find themselves on the high street in the lead up to summer. Retailers, ensure that your window displays are on trend and eye catching to keep the customers coming in. Regarding the most popular summer clothes that consumers will be on the lookout for, 61% of people we surveyed said that summer dresses are their favourite item to buy. The perfect pair of sunglasses came behind at 22%, with bikinis at 15%, and flip flops at 2%. And a fun statistic to end with: our respondents chose a fashionable outfit over sun cream as their main priority to pack. With 70% of people choosing clothes, 28% choosing a good book, and 2% selecting sun cream as the most important item to pack, hopefully they’ll prioritise their passports too! Like our infographics and original research? Give us a follow on Twitter for more retail stats, or follow our Pinterest page to check out our other infographics. Are you going on holiday soon? Or have you splashed out on some new summer wear? Tweet us a picture @RetailAssist. Share this Image On Your Site Please include attribution to retail-assist.co.uk with this graphic.…
Read more
LFW Retail Assist
  • 9 Feb

London Fashion Week – are you ready?

It’s that time of year again, when the style-savvy fashionistas of the world descend on London for the much anticipated London Fashion Week (LFW) AW15, returning this year from 20th-24th February. Each day will play host to a wealth of designers, ranging from classic brands to up-and-coming street style. We surveyed 100 fashion enthusiasts to ask them what’s best about the iconic event, and in Retail Assist style, have created an infographic of our findings: 22% enjoy discovering new designers, whilst 25% of style-spotters love seeing which celebs are on the FROW. Not surprisingly, 53% follow fashion week for the beautiful clothes and accessories seen on the catwalk. An interesting result from our survey for high street retailers, is that only 8% of participants see LFW as promoting brands that they could actually buy from, with 61% of the opinion that they wouldn’t spend money on such high-priced designers. 31% use LFW as inspiration for their wardrobe: and this provides retailers with a fantastic market to target. For retailers, why not design LFW-inspired window displays, and feature on-trend items on your website or in-store as being similar to products seen on the catwalk? A LFW style-guide mailer could also work well. In this way, you open up the opportunity for shoppers to buy in to the trend at a price that they can afford, promoting your brand as both on-trend and inclusive. When we asked which Fashion Week was their preferred event, only 19% chose LFW, whilst 24% prefer New York Fashion Week, and 57% Paris Fashion Week. We can only think it’s due to our terrible weather! But in true British style, we will never let the rain get the better of us. Here in the Marketing Department at Retail Assist, as handbag lovers, we can’t wait to see what Mulberry has to offer. And it goes without saying that being a Nottingham based company, we’ll be following Paul Smith’s latest collections. If you’re attending, or milling around London trying to get a flavour of next season’s styles, make sure that you know your real designers from fake names! We’re referring to Jimmy Kimmel’s “Lie Witness” video from New York Fashion Week last year, when he asked stylish fashionistas what they thought of completely made-up designers, then asked them to style out a “Headless Dress”… You can see it here. What trends are you expecting to see at LFW AW15? Or are you lucky enough to be attending? Tweet us @RetailAssist, using the hashtag #LFW. And if you can’t make it to the event itself, there’ll be a live stream of selected catwalk shows on LFW’s website – a great digital tool. Share this Image On Your Site Please include attribution to retail-assist.co.uk with this graphic.…
Read more
Retail Assist Valentines Infographic
  • 2 Feb

To Valentine or not to Valentine? Our survey said…

If you haven’t noticed the recent abundance of pastel pink window displays selling love’s young dream, you may be experiencing selective blindness to all things Valentine’s. But, whatever your personal feelings towards the day, romantic or cynic, St Valentine’s Day is still celebrated annually across the world, recognised as a special day for love and romance. Although some consumers place very little personal importance on the occasion, with the majority believing it to be a waste of money, as a country we continue to splash out on it year on year. Valentine’s therefore provides a great opportunity for season-savvy retailers to cash in on. Here at Retail Assist, we conducted an independent survey to look into consumers’ shopping habits around Valentine’s Day, and created a lovely heart-filled infographic to document our findings: There was an almost balanced split in whether or not you will be buying a gift for your significant other: 40% responded yes whilst 60% said no (at least there’s still a few romantics amongst us!) Perhaps more interesting to retailers is the question, how will you buy your gift? As our infographic shows, the High Street reigns supreme for gift buying, with a staggering 65% of people opting to buy in-store. This was followed by online at 26%, with a meagre 9% purchasing from their mobile or tablet device. What this shows is that although there has been a huge boom in online and mobile shopping habits, the in-store shopping experience still has a big influence when it comes to buying a special gift. Perhaps it’s that the consumer wants to physically see and feel the product – this is especially true when it comes to buying items like flowers or jewellery, traditionally the two most popular Valentine’s gifts. Or perhaps it’s that retailers market their Valentine’s gift sections particularly well in-store, with eye catching window displays and a great visual in-store centrepiece. Our customer Paperchase has a fantastic pun-based Valentine’s gift campaign for example (we particularly like their “Fifty Shades of Earl Grey” range!) Whatever the reason, Valentine’s always comes as a timely reminder that the high street has lots to offer. Valentine’s also provides the perfect time for fashion retailers to vamp up their Spring campaign launch after the post-Winter sale lull, with many brands opting to put together a “Romantic” edit of soft pastels and pinks: definitely a colour to watch this season. Something else that works particularly well is targeting different Valentine’s activities with different look-books or style guides: what to wear on a City-break weekend away, a hot date, or a romantic-but-casual meal in. Are you fully maximising the different marketing campaigns around Valentine’s that can inspire shoppers to make a purchase? Perhaps not, given that when asked whether you will you buy a new outfit for Valentine’s Day plans, an overwhelming 80% of our respondents said no, while only 20% said yes. When it comes to what people have planned for Valentine’s Day, it looks like the hospitality sector may be…
Read more
site maintained by we are coda