Retailers should re-examine their online sales strategy in line with the first day of spring. Consumers often view the start of the new season as an opportunity to purchase summer items, so retailers must capitalise on sales opportunities by promoting new stock and maximising conversion rates.
Improving weather conditions at this time of year traditionally lead to a surge for fashion retailers as shoppers seek summer clothing and special occasion wear in time for the wedding season. Home and garden products also see a rise in sales, as consumers partake in leisure activities and re-decorating after the long winter.
Last year, the Intelligent Reach platform saw total product clicks in the two weeks following the first day of spring to be 50% higher than the year before for online shopping search channels, including Google Shopping. At a category level, sports equipment and outdoor gear saw product clicks increase by 27%, with associated revenue and purchases up 118% and 166% respectively. Eyewear, another popular category during the springtime, saw product clicks rise by 50%, with associated revenues up 13%.
Individual merchants saw increased sales within the same period. One top online retailer saw product clicks for clothing and accessories rise by 47% as interest in traditional spring/summer items soared. A major department store saw amplified interest to its Home and Garden categories, with year-on-year (YoY) product clicks up 30% and associated revenue up 7%, with an average order value that was 15% higher than the year before. Already this March, a group of 10 top UK retailers have seen product clicks rise 43% and purchases rise 10% YoY.
Steve Rivers, CEO of Intelligent Reach, commented:
“Retailers need to be aware of seasonal trends and how to respond to consumer behaviours. Major fashion retailers are now offering a wide range of seasonal promotions, and online retailers will therefore need to optimise their prices against these competitors and make sure that their product content is adjusted to ensure relevancy with consumer product searches. The most successful retailers’ results are based on a true understanding of their products, using the 'language' their customers understand, while maximising profitability through Product Level Optimisation.
Last year’s mild spring had a clear impact on buying behaviour and directly contributed to increased retail revenues. With a heatwave already being predicted for Easter 2015, it is clear that there is considerable scope for substantial e-commerce gains – but only for those retailers who take steps to prepare now.”