Data privacy complaints increase
There was a 33% year-on-year rise in the number of complaints made against businesses across the data and marketing sector last year, according to the Data and Marketing Commission (DMC).
The latest annual report, which covers the 12 months from June 2020, shows issues around data management and privacy were the biggest concern, with a total of 84 complaints made against companies in the sector.
The majority of complaints related to data, privacy and quality (64%), with contractual (18%) and customer service (18%) problems making up the remainder.
The DMC investigated fewer complaints against Data and Marketing Association (DMA) members, however, a 30% drop compared to last year, which the DMC puts down to a higher level of awareness and understanding among members.
“Since the introduction of the GDPR, we have seen complaints against DMA members gradually lessen. A key reason for this is likely down to an increasing awareness by member organisations of their obligation to be transparent, to be clear, to be respectful – subsequently more customers now recognise that their data is valued and protected,” says Amerdeep Somal, chief commissioner of the DMC.
Online share of grocery sales falls as shoppers return to store
Shoppers spent a total of £7.1bn at UK supermarkets in the two weeks to Christmas. This is up from £6.7bn in 2020 and ahead of the £6.8bn forecasted by NielsenIQ.
Total till grocery sales across the four weeks to 1 January 2022 increased by 1%, which the analyst firm describes as an “impressive” growth rate given it is being compared to the 8% boost seen last January as people prepared for another lockdown.
In-store visits increased by 6.3% over the four-week period, while online shopping visits dropped by 1.7%. Given online slots for delivery had to be booked well in advance of Christmas, many shoppers opted to do top-up shops for last minute essentials in-store.
As a result, the data shows there were 27 million more in-store visits during the run up to Christmas this year than in 2020.
It means the online share of grocery sales fell to 11.3% compared to 12.1% in December last year. It is also the lowest online share recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, when 11.6% was recorded in April 2020.
M&S was the fastest growing food retailer in the 12 weeks to Christmas (up 9.4%), while both Aldi (up 8.5%) and Lidl (up 4.8%) both benefitted from new store openings.
Majority of marketers rely on gut feel for decision making
When it comes to decision making, just 17% of marketers say data and analytics is their go-to. Instead, 83% rely on gut feel when it comes to making strategic decisions.
As a result, one in two ecommerce marketers say they struggle to pinpoint growth opportunities due to lack of analytical insight. The vast majority (92%) of those who struggle to pinpoint opportunities for growth say it’s because of lack of people, time or tools.
In terms of recording progress, 45% of marketing leaders admit to not having a formal process for setting goals. Of those that do, 80% use either KPIs, SMART or OKRs. Some 40% report progress on an adhoc basis, while 28% report monthly, 23% quarterly and 31% annually.
More than a third of retail marketers suffer from poor mental health
Many retail marketers are feeling burnt-out post-Christmas, with 36% suffering from poor mental health this January.
The survey of 300 retail marketers across the UK, US and France, finds more than a third have been struggling to cope with the intensive demands of the busy festive period.
Nearly half (48%) were expected to work overtime, with 37% suggesting it was difficult to maintain a work-life balance. Two-fifths (41%) say they lost sleep over the busy period.
Retail marketers working in luxury have the highest stress levels, with 50% struggling with the pressures of the Christmas season.
“Unfortunately, our research found that the stress caused by the holiday season can have a detrimental effect on marketers’ mental health. Add in the stress of the pandemic and major impacts to the global supply chain; it’s no wonder marketers are feeling a particular pinch this past holiday season that they haven’t felt before,” said Niki Hall, CMO at Contentsquare.
“While it’s clear that retailers are concerned about their teams, employers should consider focusing on providing mental health support for their teams throughout the entire holiday season and beyond. At the same time, marketing leaders need to actively strategise with their teams to make the day-to-day work less stressful. That could mean preparing earlier, having the right tools and people in place, and focusing on outcomes that really matter.”
Most UK shoppers don’t know what the metaverse is
More than half (58%) of UK consumers have no idea what the metaverse is, according to a nationally representative study of 1,000 people in the UK conducted this month.
Furthermore, there is little desire for people to shop in the metaverse, with 96% of people aged 25 to 54 saying they don’t plan to spend their cash in the virtual universe.
It’s a similar picture for younger consumers too, with 46% of 18- to 24-year-olds unaware what the metaverse is, and 93% saying they too would not shop in the metaverse at all.
Ed Hallen, co-founder and chief product officer of Klaviyo says: “While some brands might quickly try to lay out their metaverse stall, smart business leaders will be biding their time, listening to their customers and not jumping in head first.”