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Research

New survey votes Amazon as UK’s top retailer…

Already experiencing an impressive 2016, with the launch of its AmazonFresh service and the announcement of 1,000 new permanent jobs to be created within the company this year, data compiled by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has declared Amazon as the UK’s favourite retailer.

A quarter of the 1,000 respondents voted for Amazon to claim the top spot, followed by John Lewis with 14 per cent backing, Marks & Spencer with 10 per cent and other retailers such as Asos and eBay clinching to top 20 status.

Contradicting its ever-increasing popularity, it’s surprising to find that Apple received just one per cent of the overall vote, as the DMA indicates a ‘disconnect between the power of the brand and Apple as a retail brand’ and many consumers purchase Apple products through other outlets.

Read more on the DMA’s ‘Customer Engagement’ research here

Idealo: Online prices fluctuate throughout the week…

The price comparison site, idealo.co.uk, has revealed that consumers who make internet purchases at the start of the week are more likely to save up to 18 per cent compared to those who shopping online at the weekends.

The company’s ‘Online Shopping: How prices fluctuate throughout the week’ research suggests that a lack of awareness about the ‘highly flexible nature’ of online prices — in addition to minimal research on product prices — can often lead to consumers missing out on the best deals.

It is thought that online retailers are cashing in on their knowledge of consumer behaviour, and, with the prospect that consumers will place their orders over a weekend, shops use an effective pricing strategy which sees a marginal increase between Friday and Sunday; thereafter returning to a lower price again at the start of the week.

The site claims the study was commissioned to help parents save money on summer items as schools finish for the holidays.

To read the full research, click here

TFWA: Improved conversion key to developing watches and jewellery sector…

Where conversion is considered to be an imperative issue for a majority of sectors, a recent study commissioned by the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) and produced by Counter Intelligence Retail has highlighted that the watches and jewellery sector is the ‘poorest performer’.

The study of 1,000 shopper interviews conducted at four international airports found that, while one in seven shoppers visit watches and jewellery, only 5 per cent purchase these items; equating to a conversion rate of just 34 per cent.

Furthermore, the report also uncovered that 78 per cent of shoppers buying for themselves purchased a brand they do not usually buy, meanwhile 40 per cent purchased the brand for the first time and seven in ten buyers had no prior awareness of the brand.

TFWA president, Erik Juul-Mortensen, said: “While passenger numbers are increasing significantly across the globe, our ability to turn these travellers into customers has not kept pace, and conversion is a major issue for our industry. As the poorest performer, there is clearly considerable scope to drive sales in watches and jewellery.”

Just one in two shoppers admitted to buying watches and jewellery for themselves, the lowest of all categories, while almost one in every two purchases are for a gift.

To become a member of the TFWA and to access the full report, click here

Mintel: Thrifty shopping ‘an asset’ for UK consumers…

New research conducted by the market research provider, Mintel, a frugal shopping mentality is now considered to be an ‘asset’ to UK consumers, with Yorkshire and Humberside residents voted as the country’s biggest ‘bargain hunters’.

The ‘British Lifestyles: Growing Tired of Austerity UK 2016 reportfound that 78 per cent of consumers residing in this region brand ‘bargain hunting’ as a thrill, with 54 per cent stating that they budget every month for treats such as dinners and cinema trips; compared to the national average of 48 per cent. Furthermore, 74 per cent admitted to shopping around for the lowest prices and 51 per cent claim that they do not like to pay full price for items.

Senior consumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel, Ina Mitskavets, says that even though ‘savvy shopping’ has increased in popularity, retailers still need to enforce a tighter strategy on the promotion and amount of discounts to avoid a damaged reputation: “The savvy shopping mentality is still firmly entrenched in the UK today. If anything, it has been reinforced by the widespread discounting and price wars across a variety of sectors in the post-recession years. Scoring discounts has evolved from a chore into a form of entertainment, or even a full-fledged hobby. However, while it is clear that consumers now expect to see reduced prices and special offers in shops, widespread promotions can be damaging to business reputations and bottom lines. The focus for many companies going forward should be on weaning customers off discounts through better service and quality improvements.”

Clothing purchases demonstrated to be the biggest splurge made by the UK public, followed by meals out (28 per cent), holidays (27 per cent), a night out (22 per cent), technology items and gadgets (20 per cent), alcohol (20 per cent), and beauty or personal care products (17 per cent).

Read more of the report’s findings here