At Competitor Monitor we always find some interesting insight in our data. This week we decided to dig into this data in a slightly different way, combining our existing information with some desk research. We thought we would share some results about the Holiday season.
As we all know, the holidays are a time of significant spending for parents and therefore a great opportunity for retailers. But what about the hidden costs in addition to the obvious?
Here are some findings from our research:
· Food and gifts take up a large portion of a parent’s budget, with up to 80% spent on these alone in the run up to Christmas.
· Despite Black Friday discounting and Cyber Monday deals, we have found that many of our monitored retailers have increased their pricing over the past few weeks on key items, toys being an obvious but significant one.
· Tied in with the above, there is a lack of discounting across the board at the moment with very few retailers offering reductions in their lines.
· Although fuel prices have lowered recently, due to the lower price of oil, our bespoke price monitoring for one customer has shown that train ticket prices remain high and there are no low-cost deals for travel until the New Year.
· Visits to attractions such as a trip to see Santa Claus, are often unbudgeted expenses which are becoming more expensive year-on-year with the average attraction now costing £60 for a family of four, before factoring in food. Most families can only visit these festive attractions at weekends when prices are usually higher than during the week. An adult fee is even more expensive than a child’s – usually turning a fun family day trip into a pricey affair.
· According to a survey conducted by a large supermarket chain, on average, parents will spend £312 per child this Christmas – and that’s only on gifts. From our own research, comparing prices of identical products on several of our monitored retail websites could lead to a saving of up to 60%.
We will be monitoring the products above to see how they change in price and availability into January. Feel free to reach out of you have any comments on this article.
Although still a relatively new concept in the UK, Black Friday was anticipated to be the biggest and most successful shopping day in the British retail calendar this year.
According to reports, Boxing Day will be outperformed by Black Friday, as discounts and product quality have been higher due to a poor autumn, where retail sales slumped due to mild weather. Supermarket giant Tesco already expects that its Boxing Day sale will be beaten due to huge 70% discounts that were available in-store and online on Black Friday.
Fortunately, after a disappointing autumn, there has been a pre-Christmas boost to sales figures in the UK, where an estimated £810 million was spent by shoppers on Black Friday - £300 million more than projected.
In the USA however, shoppers spent 11% less than during the same period in 2013 and sales dropped from $57.4 to $50.9 billion. Earlier discounts during October, savvier sales shoppers and the money-worries of many consumers are possible contributions to this decline.
Traditionally, Boxing Day is one of the most successful sales in the UK. Yet as more and more retailers offer more permanent and frequent discounts, shoppers are no longer waiting post-Christmas to grab a bargain, potentially killing off the Boxing Day sale.
With that said, it becomes much harder for retailers to gain insight into competitor activity. Promotions are more sporadic and not all retailers offer their most competitive prices at the same time. By monitoring retailers and their competitors, Competitor Monitor can help companies understand more about pricing and promotional trends, whether during a sales period or on a day-to-day basis, offering full visibility and the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.