What Impact are Retail Events having on Sales?

Introduction: A Definition of Retail Events

Throughout the year, retailers and consumers deviate from their usual behavior and engage more strongly in promotions, sales and purchasing. On these dates, stores are faced with significantly higher footfall levels caused by a few possible different reasons for this:

Promotional Events: The more conventional retail events are promotional events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday when retailers boast extraordinary discounts and promotions.

Seasonal Events: During the pre-Christmas period and during bank holidays retailers will also witness increased levels of sales. In this case though it’s due to more consumers being more propense to purchase, regardless of promotions.

Sporting Events: Similarly, when national or local teams are involved in sporting events, retailers see footfall rise as more people might be in the streets.

A Closer Look at the Major Retail Events

Over the past few years the UK total retail sector has been growing, although the levels of sales plateaued in the last few months. This being said, online sales, as a proportion of all retailing keeps increasing with more and more also purchasing via mobile.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Focusing on promotional events, the number of UK adults that planned to take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday has dropped from 62% to 42%, while the amount to be spent per person increased by approximately 7%. In this weekend, over half (56%) of shopping appears to occur exclusively online.

From a retailer’s point of view, the Black Friday weekend presents a challenge: Converting customers who can be acquired through discounts without alienating other shoppers throughout the rest of the year. Retailers can mitigate this trade-off through tailored communication and targeted digital channels, which also leveraged the predominantly online sale’s journey of this weekend.

Seasonal Shopping

Taking a step back and looking at the whole Christmas shopping period, 3 in 10 people will be shopping for presents in high street shops. To save on the gifts, 7 in 10 people will take advantage of promotions and discounts. Interestingly, when looking for these gifts, the starting point is Amazon, rather than other online platforms/search engines or offline retailers.

Beyond discounts and promotions, the strategy to use in this case relies significantly on campaign messaging and the customer experience. Since the nature of pre-Christmas purchases is seasonal tradition, retailers can make the most of this by tweaking their creatives, messaging or site banners.

Sporting Events and Retail

The impact of sporting events on consumers’ behaviour is more complex due to the different shapes these events can take. The mayor example in recent years has been the FIFA World Cup, which has helped drive a 4% year on year growth in the consumption of beer in the UK. Contributing to this event’s impact, is also the unusually good weather and England making it to the semi-finals. This shows how the impact of these events depends on multiple other variables such as local team performance and climate. In other cases, sporting events actually drive people out of the streets leading to lower retail footfall.

The impact of these events is therefore quite unpredictable. Retailers are recommended to prepare stores from a capacity and safety point of view; hence the strategy becomes being prepared to react to factors such as (un?)expected victories.

In Conclusion

The events described above drive different consumers into different industries. Nevertheless, in terms of marketing strategy, retail events point towards more targeted online communication since more and more people shop online, tailored messaging and creatives (for Seasonal and Promotional events), and the ability to react to the market quickly (for Sporting Events).

The Brightblue team have decades of experience helping clients understand media efficiency by truly digging into the drivers of sales and revenue. We have experience across automotive, retail, travel, entertainment, telecoms, FMCG, white goods, financial services, health and many other sectors. Our unique way of modelling the entire client journey truly helps marketeers understand what they can do to shine in their organisation by driving business and making a real difference to their bottom line. Get in touch if you have any questions on this article or any of the ways Brightblue can help.


Descriptive Stats on Retail Events


BF and CM stats:

Seasonal Shopping Stats

Sporting Events and Retail Stats:

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