Ecommerce CMOs optimistic about growth potential
Research from ecommerce platform ChannelAdvisor suggests that UK online brands are increasingly upbeat about their opportunities to grow and recruit new staff over the coming year.
A very healthy 91% of 304 CMOs surveyed say they are confident that their brand’s revenue will grow over the next 12 months, with 25% feeling very confident and an equal number expecting digital ad spend to increase.
Some 92% believe they have greater potential to attract more customers now than in pre-pandemic times, with nearly a third (32%) saying they expect this to become “much easier”.
Asked about recruitment plans over the next year, ecommerce expertise is going to be the big hiring need, followed by marketing talent, web developers, senior strategic expertise and logistics experts.
Ethical values rarely get in the way of a bargain
Over a quarter of UK shoppers admit they regularly buy from retailers even if they disapprove of their ethical approach.
Some 27% of consumers won’t let ethical concerns get in the way of their purchasing, while 15% are loyal to retailers they’re actively ashamed of.
Over a third (34%) of young people continue to buy from brands that they disagree with.
The survey of 7,000 consumers in five countries, also found that younger shoppers (in the 16-24 age group) are most likely to regularly buy from brands, but not them endorse them publicly, with 32% holding their hands up to this behaviour.
Strong ethical values was one of the least popular reasons for respondents to show loyalty to a band, with just 16% saying that it was important to them.
In comparison, 56% said they are loyal to brands with a wide product range and 43% to those offering lower prices.
Report finds one in seven shops still shuttered
The BRC-LDV vacancy monitor for the second quarter of 2021 found the overall British retail vacancy rate increased from 14.1% to 14.5%, continuing a trend of quarterly increases that has now stretched to three years.
Shopping centre vacancies now stand at 19.4% (up from 18.4% in Q1). High street stores remain in line with the overall figure at 14.5% (up from 14.1%), while the vacancy figure for retail parks is up to 11.5% (from 10.6%).
Almost one in five shopping centre units now lie empty, with more than one in eight units lying empty for over a year.
The BRC warns that the rate could rise further now that the Covid business rates holiday has ended and is urging the government to review the current system to help reduce the cost burden for businesses.
UK ad spend set to grow by 18.2%
The UK advertising market is expected to grow by 18.2% this year, up from the 15.2% forecast in April.
The good news is these updated figures suggest the market can go on and recover the £1.8bn decline of last year, with 2022 set to see the market valued at a record-breaking £30bn.
Online platforms, now totalling 70% of the overall market, continue to offer the best potential for growth, with online display, inclusive of social media and online video, expected to see growth accelerate this year by 17.2% and paid search by 19.7%.
Source: Advertising Association/WARC
Questions over the impact of sustainability on sales
Sustainability remains one of the great buzzwords of our time, but the reality is a little different when it comes to a brand’s deeds and the resulting accomplishments.
When asked whether a brand’s sustainability purpose has any positive impacts sales-wise, only 28% of respondents believe it has, while 34% said no and 38% said that they didn’t know.
The survey of staff at over 50 brands, including Fever-Tree, KFC and Renault, found respondents rated the company they worked for an average 76 out of 100 for its sustainability ambitions, but a rather more modest 54 when it came to actual achievements.
When asked what their company’s biggest sustainability challenge was, 31% said “the cost of more sustainable options”, while 37% answered “the speed and scale of change required”.
Some 50% of respondents said they, or the company they worked for, did not measure their marketing production output from a sustainability perspective.