Amazon is the world’s most valuable brand
Amazon has retained its crown as the world’s most valuable brand for the third year in a row, according to the 2021 Kantar BrandZ ranking.
Amazon’s brand value increased by 64% compared to 2020 and now stands at $683.9bn. Apple follows in second place ($611bn, up 74%), with Google claiming third place ($458bn, up 42%) from now fourth placed Microsoft ($410.3bn, up 26%).
Chinese tech giant Tencent is in fifth place ($240.9bn, up 60%), followed by Facebook ($226.7bn, up 54%), Alibaba ($197bn, up 29%), Visa ($191.3bn, up 2%), McDonald’s ($154.9bn, up 20%) and Mastercard ($112.9bn, up 4%).
Global head of research at BrandZ Martin Guerrieria describes both Amazon and Apple’s growth figures as “genuinely astounding”.
“It’s the first time that we’ve had two brands that are worth more than half a trillion dollars, which is actually pretty scary when you think about the amount that they’re actually worth,” Guerrieria adds.
Looking at the wider top 10, only two brands – Visa and Mastercard – were in single-digit growth.
Source: Kantar BrandZ
Poor returns process would prevent most consumers from purchasing again
More than two-fifths (42%) of consumers have decided not to buy an item because they didn’t like the returns policy, while 70% say a retailer’s returns policy is important in their decision to shop with them.
The vast majority of shoppers (79%) say they check the returns policy before making a purchase and 59% say they would never shop with a retailer again following a poor returns experience.
When it comes to serial returners, 33% of consumers say they buy multiple sizes or colours with the intention of returning at least one item. This rises to 47% for 18- to 25-year-olds.
Consumers are shopping more often and buying less
Shoppers look to be edging towards old habits as the latest take-home grocery figures show supermarket sales dropped by 1.6% during the 12 weeks to 13 June 2021 as visits to stores increased.
But while sales fell during the period, the overall figure is still £3.3bn higher than in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
Shoppers are also visiting stores more frequently, with the number of grocery trips made each month by British households up 13.1%. As the number of visits increases, the average spend her trip has fallen accordingly, down 13.6%, which suggests a return to more typical pre-Covid patterns.
Online sales also appear to have plateaued, with ecommerce accounting for 13.4% of the market in the four weeks to 13 June – the same figure as in May. It is also just 0.2% higher than during the same period last year, suggesting the appetite for large online shops is approaching a new baseline.
However, the emergence of rapid delivery services for small shops, such as Tesco’s recently launched Whoosh and other startups in this area is worth watching, according to Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt.
“A really interesting recent development in online shopping is the rapid growth of fast-track delivery services for smaller top-up shops,” he says. Tesco launched its Whoosh platform in May to compete against start-up disruptors including Gorillas, Getir and Weezy which are moving into the market for smaller trips, with baskets under £25 currently worth £41bn online and in-store each year. It’s definitely a case of ‘watch this space’.”
Most workers to return to the office at least once a week
More than three-quarters (77%) of workplaces that fully closed during the most recent UK lockdown have reopened, with 47% of staff back to the office on a day-to-day basis.
The survey of 411,013 employees between 11 to 15 June, finds 85% of employees will be in the workplace at least once a week after all restrictions are removed.
Two-thirds (66%) of offices are looking to return to their pre-Covid staff levels after all restrictions are ended with the final step of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown set for 19 July.
Consumer expectations back in negative territory
Despite the government’s decision to delay the total removal of Covid-19 restrictions, consumer confidence has remained stable in June, according to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index.
The overall index is static at -9 for the second month running, on par with pre-lockdown levels. However, expectations for the general economic prospects of the UK over the next year have dropped by six points to -2.
This puts economic expectations back in negative territory after May’s 15-point jump, which gave the first positive number since August 2015. Notably, however, the score is still 46 points higher than it was in June 2020.
And while expectations for the future economy may have declined, the other four measures included in the overall index score have improved since May.
Consumers’ view of the last 12 months has improved by one point to -47, which, while low, is 12 points higher than it was this time last year.
People also feel more confident in their personal financial situation, up four points to zero for the last 12 months – nine points higher than in June 2020. The picture for personal finance over the next year looks bright, with the forecast one point higher this month at 11 and 15 points higher compared to last year.
The major purchase index has also increased by two points to -5, 27 points higher than it was this month last year.