Whitepaper launch: Navigating the nightmare before Christmas: How retailers can maximise share of voice and mind

Black Friday has been and gone, non-essential retailers have thrown open their doors (for a limited time only?), and the Christmas countdown has begun. And yet – both Debenhams and the Arcadia group announced pretty grim news this week, Amazon is still gobbling up market share and, I don’t know about you, but my local high street is rather quiet.

It was against this unpredictable and challenging market backdrop that we recently held a live panel event. Featuring a number of individuals from a cross-section of retail business, retail technology and retail media, the event looked at how brands and vendors can navigate the Christmas period and beyond, and create opportunities from the new digital-first landscape.

Today, we’ve launched a whitepaper featuring highlights of the event, expert insight, tips and tricks for retailers and technology players, and market analysis. Read on for a brief teaser, and then download the paper in full here, and watch the event here.

Happy reading, happy selling, happy shopping, and happy Christmas!

Jenny Mowat, Managing Director, Babel PR

 That the retail sector has taken a massive hit in 2020 is undeniable. That the post-summer period has turned into a ‘nightmare before Christmas’, is also pretty hard to argue with. However, there is scope for optimism. Even as we look back at the early days of the pandemic, it’s possible to identify some positives. In the same month that we saw a record fall in sales, we also witnessed a surge in ecommerce activity, with online shopping as a share of all retail reaching a record high of 30.7% in April. This trend continued into May, with a third of UK retail transactions taking place online, according to the ONS. Online sales rose by 19.7% in May compared to the previous month, and a record proportion of food sales took place online.

There are also high hopes for Black Friday and the Christmas sales build-up. Photos of queues outside bricks-and-mortar stores may be a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean that shoppers aren’t willing to wait to snag a bargain. According to Uswitch, almost a quarter of consumers would be willing to wait longer than an hour in an online queue for a £200 discount, and 4% of Black Friday shoppers say they would happily spend six hours waiting. Despite everything that 2020 has thrown at us, there are still opportunities – and sales – to be enjoyed by retailers. And many have already enjoyed success.

So, what can players in the retail ecosystem – from the brands selling to consumers, to the tech companies selling to brands to help them sell to consumers! – do to make the most of these opportunities? How can they navigate and dispel the ‘nightmare before Christmas’?

These were among the topics of conversation at a panel event held by Babel. Discussing these issues – and sharing their advice – were Andrew Goodacre, CEO of the British Independent Retailers’ Association; Alex Sword, Editor of B2B publications Internet Retailing and eDelivery; Courtney Roe, Head of Global Content Strategy for digital asset management specialist Widen; and Steve Williamson, General Manager EMEA for digital experience company Acquia.

In this whitepaper, we’ll examine retail in 2020, share details of the panel discussion, and examine how retailers can adopt new technologies and new approaches to best serve and communicate with the new consumer.

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