This morning, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) published its latest Retail Sales Monitor report in partnership with KPMG and revealed that the retail sector recorded its fastest quarterly growth on record in the second quarter of 2021.
However, while the growth of in-store sales was up by 10% in June compared to their 2020 levels, growth in online sales fell back by 7% over the same period.
For ecommerce data integration company Productsup, the figures, while positive, confirm that ecommerce retailers can’t expect to enjoy the gains they’ve made during the pandemic for the foreseeable future, and must work harder to gain their share of the customer wallet. Retailers need to focus on growing their online operations and adopt a hybrid, omnichannel approach to meet the shift in demand sparked by the pandemic, continue to grow their businesses and satisfy the demands of their customers.
Giving his thought on the data, Johannis Hatt, Productsup’s CEO, comments: “It’s good to see the UK retail sector finding its feet again, with the surge in footfall encouraging for those who have remained focused on physical stores. This will no doubt continue to increase once shoppers’ post-pandemic confidence bounces back completely and we break free from the restrictions imposed on us by lockdown, the growth of instore shopping will likely continue. But naturally that means that ecommerce retailers will need to work harder to secure their share of the customer wallet.
“If British retailers want to capitalise on the post-lockdown spending spree, they will need to ensure they expand their online operations to create a seamless omnichannel experience for their shoppers, regardless of the way they choose to shop. Real-time analytics, personalisation and mobile are all key to maintaining a strong performing online operation for retailers, even in testing times. Data-driven ecommerce strategies mean retailers can constantly assess trading performance, respond to changes in a timely manner and enhance the customer experience and overall journey with the brand.
“With consumer confidence likely to be struggling for some time to come and the threat of another lockdown later this year, continued investment in ecommerce will be critical in weathering any potential storms on the horizon. Increased footfall is great, but a smooth omnichannel experience is what matters to consumers.”