This year, winter sales are being disrupted by the pandemic and the national curfew at 6pm, which inevitably leads to changes in the consumer purchasing behavior. That’s why merchants need to adapt themselves to this unprecedented context by facilitating access to their products and simplifying the buyers’ journey. We will go through the consumption trends for this year’s sales, and the possibilities available to you!
French consumers intentions for winter sales
On Tuesday 19 January, Eurelian published a survey on the 2021 winter sales in relation to the sanitary crisis. 70% of French people say that they intend to shop products on sale! Which is reassuring for retailers, some of whom have already suffered damages due to the pandemic.
Generally speaking, over the years, the trend towards e-commerce, especially during sales events, has been increasing. And this is even more the case this year! Half of the French people questioned affirmed that they intend to shop for the winter 2021 sales online rather than in person. These same French people explained that they want to enjoy shopping without endangering their health and that of others because of the risks of contamination.
However, the sanitary crisis does not prevent them from taking advantage of promotional offers: 61% of them plan to spend between 100 and 400€. This information should delight retailers! Among the different types of products, 83% of the consumers questioned want to take advantage of sales in the fashion sector, 44% in the sports sector and 38% in the high-tech sector.
Focus on e-commerce
The sanitary context makes the transition to digital necessary for merchants
To maximise their chances of being chosen by consumers, digital presence is essential, although lack of budget can sometimes be an obstacle. Moreover, do not hesitate to consult the financial help offered by the French government for the digitalisation of businesses!
In fact, e-commerce websites represent the best alternative for consumers who, according to them, will only be 14% to physically go to shops for sales. Hence the importance of relying on this commercialization medium.
However, if you don’t have the resources in-house to manage an e-commerce website, you could instead develop a vitrine website! You will then need to find a solution to redirect your qualified traffic to your retailers’ websites directly from yours, in order to continue the online purchasing process.
In the OpinionWay study carried out for Click2Buy, consumers stated that they need access to a range of information before buying: product features, prices, promotional offers, opinions, additional services, delivery times and costs, etc. We therefore recommend that those who cannot opt for an e-commerce website, develop a vitrine website containing this information. According to our study (the full details of which can be found here), 6 out of 10 French people consult the brands and retailers’ websites before buying, particularly to read reviews.
How to limit obstacles to online shopping?
For some consumers, online shopping may present some obstacles: the purchase is dematerialized, there is no direct contact with a seller, the customer does not own the product directly after purchase, he does not have the opportunity to see or try it before payment and receipt of the product, etc.
The study we realized with OpinionWay highlighted the following expectations of consumers about retailers’ actions:
For 75% of French consumers, enriching your product pages with advice, videos or info, to help them use the product fully is an accelerator of purchase. Take Dyson for example, a brand that offers tutorials directly on its website allowing consumers to use its products correctly. Moreover, these videos are an opportunity for the brand to show how effective its products are and how easy they are to use:
The possibility of testing the product is a service appreciated by consumers, and for 66% of the French consumers it is even considered as essential in the decision making process! This is what Boulanger offers with the “Le Comptoir” concept in its shops. The retailers even go as far as to offer exclusive product tests, among others, for those who join its community:
In this photo from the brand’s store, you can read “All the products are plugged in, you can test them !”
The distributor Leroy Merlin, specialist in Do It Yourself, has chosen to focus on cross-selling. This method allows the distributor to increase the average amount spent per cart while adapting to each customer’s project. The benefit for the consumer is to be able to optimise the use of the product thanks to additional purchases without suffering from the lack of direct advice from a seller. This service is appreciated by 71% of those questioned:
In this photo from the brand’s spanish website, you can read “The clients who saw this product page are also interested in:”
Finally, Superdry offers to remove any concerns about the purchase of dematerialised products. How can this be done? By offering consumers to order certain products without immediate payment. Customers receive the products, then they inform Superdry of the products that they choose to return and those that will be kept. Thus, Superdry only debits the cost of the items that the customer has chosen to keep:
In addition to allowing consumers not to pay before trying the products, this system also allows you to increase the price of the carts! Indeed, consumers tend to take more items because they are reassured. This simplifies product testing and multiplies the number of people who will keep all or almost all of them!
As some e-shops offer, you can complete these actions by offering free returns, extending the time for returns or exchanges, and reducing delivery waiting times. Anything that will help the consumer in his purchase and enrich his experience will be a source of confidence and speed up his decision making!
Display the availability of products in stock for each retailer
The availability of products in real time is one of the most important pieces of information to facilitate purchase. According to our study with OpinionWay, 79% of French people want to know the availability of the product in local sales stores before making a purchase. For 84% of them, this is even a purchase accelerator! This is why we recommend that you communicate this information directly from your communication media, including your website.
Not having the product in stock in the shop or on its website is a source of disappointment for the consumer and represents a risk of interruption in the purchasing process. This risk is reinforced at the moment by curfew and the potential danger represented by each trip to the shop.
To avoid this disappointment, you can enable them to check the availability of your product directly from your website, by only showing them the physical or online points of sale that have the product in stock.
Offer users the choice of the most suitable buyer’s journey
Several alternatives are available to you depending on your situation. If you do not yet have an e-commerce website, you can redirect the user to the distributors who hold the product directly from your website or even from your digital communications. Of course this advice is applicable all year round! As for the sales period, applying this advice allows you to enhance communications on your products’ exclusive offers while making the buying process more fluid.
This possibility is also valid if you already have an e-commerce website but, unlike some of your retailers, you no longer have stocks for the item. This way, rather than frustrating the consumer, you allow him to finalise his purchase with ease! This alternative is complementary to your e-shop. Don’t hesitate to consult our dedicated article to find out more!
Simplify the buying process
As you will have understood, if your goal is to make sales a success, digital is the best tool in this sanitary context.
But to achieve your goals, it is important to be careful and to respect certain expectations expressed by consumers: provide them with the information that will help them make a decision, inform them about the availability of products, offer them different distribution channels to let them choose the most suitable one, and allow them to continue the purchasing process directly from all your digital communications!
How can you do that ? There are Where to Buy solutions that allow you to enrich your communications and your website, e-commerce or vitrine shop. With a “Where to Buy” button, you can allow continuity with the buying process but also provide the information we have just mentioned.
The bonus? You can collect data on the users’ journey in order to better adapt your strategies to their needs and thus increase your chances of conversions!
If you would like to discuss this with us, do not hesitate to contact us: