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Easter- a prime business time for retailers

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With Easter kicking off this weekend, Easter Bank Holiday is expected to draw in the crowds as retail footfall increases by 4.7% over the next four days.


Retailers are not just making profit from their chocoholic consumers. According to a report by eBay, retailers are hoping to cash in across all sectors, with sporting goods and DIY topping the charts in 2014.    


eBay said that this year’s marketers are capitalising on the “bank holiday bounce”, the full week prior to Easter Sunday, causing an influx in retail sales. At this time last year the sporting goods category increased by 16%, while DIY had a 10% uplift.  Sunday 17 May 2014 saw a 60% jump in searches for dust sheets alongside a 40% increase in searches for garden furniture. Plants were also high on search engines.  


Whether sales this year will follow 2014’s trends is yet to be determined. Consumers in 2014 made the most of a warm start to spring, with Easter Sunday providing one of the sunniest Easters to date. The weather urged green fingered customers outdoors and sporting goods were ideal for an active day in the sun.    


If this weekend‘s weather predictions are anything to go by, 2015 Easter sales may not be so outdoors inclined.  


Nonetheless, retailers must make the most of the holiday. “The Easter Bank Holiday signals the start of a lucrative time for brands, as shoppers look forward to having extra days to revamp their homes and gardens and spend time with their families” Phuong Nguyen, Director of eBay Advertising in the UK, comments. 


While shoppers look to spend this weekend, Easter egg prices are dropping, leaving extra cash in consumer pockets for other retail sectors. The average price of Easter eggs has dropped by 9.7% - no doubt connected to the battle of the Big Four supermarkets.  Morrisons was the first to cut its egg prices by 7.3% with Asda and Tesco soon following suit. 


Shoppers are spending in more organised, ‘healthy’ ways. Gluten free products have seen a surge of 890% since 2014, while hot cross buns have increased by 124%.  


Regardless of which sector they belong to, all retailers should be focusing on their advertising strategies this holiday. Nguyen continues: 


"One of the huge advantages of online advertising is its capacity to accurately segment audiences – and this is a prime example of how precision targeting at scale can pay dividends for brands that have access to sophisticated insights. Whether they are organised and planning ahead, or rushing to purchase at the last minute, brands must be flexible enough to respond to the needs of all consumers if they are to gain share of wallet.”


Businesses should not only concentrate on the ‘seven day shoppers’ but on Spring as a whole.  eBay found that on all three of the bank holiday Mondays in April and May, searches on Android, iPhone and iPad platforms outstripped those on desktop, something it put down to parents trying to entertain their  families on rainy days- inevitable for British consumers. . 


Nguyen said, “There’s no “one size fits all” approach to engaging consumers during this period”, instead “brands must leverage the observed insight that online advertising can offer to serve shoppers with the right message at the right time – on whichever device they choose to shop on.” 


eBay urges brands to “grab share of wallet” and to  be prepared for business whatever the weather.   

Published on Thursday 02 April by Rachel Gee

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