The end of the financial year brought in much more incentive to take to the stores this year – and this was evident within the latest Australian Retail Index numbers for June. Half yearly clearances and stocktake sales are a common mid-year tactic and appear to have been particularly impactful.
Industry wide sales increased 8% month-over-month from May and almost 15% compared with June last year.
The General Retail sector lead the way in year over year growth at 15% followed closely by Sporting Goods at 13%. Large ticketed items coupled with big discounts in the Furniture vertical led to a huge 21% growth over May and 4% year over year.
Changing trends in payment methods
Along with the new “Buy Now, Pay Later” services like After Pay, credit card purchases also increased 5% from the same period last year as less people opted for cash. Lay-bys also increased by over 11% as shoppers and retailers looked ahead to the Christmas season, buying while prices were low.
Focus must now shift to driving record Christmas season sales
With strong growth recorded in June thanks to EOFY sales, retailers need to now turn their attention to how they are going to best position themselves for the months leading up to the Christmas season.
Many retailers are already active with offering Christmas gift lay-bys through in-store and online communications. And to stand out in an increasingly crowded and demanding global marketplace, retailers need to be already starting to execute on a clear marketing, sales, service, inventory and fulfilment strategy.
Are you best positioned for Christmas sales?
It is not just about having the right strategy, retailers need to have the right systems in place to enable successful growth leading into Christmas. This is why cloud technologies are more important than ever before, acting as a catalyst to propel businesses forward with far more efficiency.
There are certain elements when played right that will have retailers well placed for the Christmas season:
- Ensure your online and instore inventory management platforms are integrated in the cloud so you have complete visibility of your sales, customers, inventory and supply chains.
- With this visibility, you can segment your customer database and effectively promote the right products to the right segments to ensure they come back into your store more often.
Then, with this clarity, you can ensure you get the right products into the right stores at the right time with minimal impact on cashflow leading into and beyond the Christmas period.
Aaron Blackman – CEO, Retail Express