The pandemic wasn’t something that retailers could have predicted back in 2019 when forming growth plans for 2020 and beyond, yet our fantastic clients have generated 28% growth in terms of revenue through the Visualsoft platform.
It has been a delight throughout the course of 2020 to not only watch our clients adapt to achieve immense growth throughout a turbulent year - but also pull together to support their surrounding communities, each other and the NHS.
We spoke to some of our clients to find out their key insights from 2020. Here’s what they had to say…
Reacting to shifts in audience expectations:
The events that have formed the course of 2020 have had huge impacts on consumers and their mindsets, causing many shoppers to re-evaluate their shopping habits and financial priorities.
On shifts in consumer mindset and how to cater to them, Anthony Irving, Managing Director at CHO, commented: “throughout a turbulent year, our brand has had to reassure consumers that we have remained open, and can deliver the same exceptional service as always.” Additionally, as the majority of consumers were forced to work from home, like many retailers, the brand had to switch the stock they were buying in in accordance with consumers’ new priorities. Because of this, the brand shifted from more formal style pieces, towards lounge and leisure wear.
In a similar trend, when speaking to Gianni Casagrande, Digital Marketing Manager at Moda in Pelle, reported they had to “assess everything! From product, logistics, marketing, eCommerce partners and people… the lot!”. In terms of Black Friday and Christmas, Gianni stated, “most retailers have had to adapt and change their plans this year, as the traditional marketing calendar has gone out the window - especially for products that have an element of seasonality, like shoes! Because of this, we decided to go early with their Black Friday event, giving customers the chance to get their hands on beautiful shoes for a great price. On top of this, throughout the year, we ran various campaigns throughout the year where a % of revenue was donated to the NHS to support their fight against Coronavirus.”
We also watched the brand shift their stock focus to their casual shoes and trainer range, catering to the ‘at home’ consumer striving to be comfortable yet fashionable whilst working from the living room. Gianni went on to say: “However, the one thing we’re very grateful for is having an exceptional team to support us throughout the year internally, and of course, our external partners.”
Myles Shaw, Managing Director at RunRug, reported: “When COVID-19 hit us in March, we never even considered that eCommerce would see an increase in sales. In fact, in the first week of lockdown, our sales dropped by 30%. Then, by the second week we saw a huge uplift in orders!
He continued, “I was surprised that what is normally our quiet period, turned into our busy period. This caught us a little short as we didn’t have enough stock to service the extra influx in orders and replenishing stocks wasn’t easy as the supply chain had broken due to the first lockdown.
Therefore, we planned early on for a second lockdown, as well as making sure we were fully prepared for Brexit - ensuring that our stock levels were at an all-time high. This meant we were able to have a strong Black Friday sales period and as well as a strong upcoming Christmas period without the stress of best sellers running out of stock”.
Key insights from 2020:
The changes that have occurred this year have provided retailers and agencies alike with ridiculous amounts of data that otherwise would not have been accessible. While the year has certainly been challenging, it has enabled retailers to learn more about their own internal infrastructure, people and company capabilities in the face of adversity.
“The biggest thing that CHO as a company has learned this year is that you really do get out of this world what you put into it” said MD at CHO, Anthony. He continued, “we are luckier than an awful lot of businesses out there and we’re fortunate to have equipped ourselves incredibly well. The insights that CHO have been able to collect throughout the course of 2020 have allowed the brand to make “massive inroads in understanding truly who CHO is, who the CHO customer now is, and exactly what they want.”
Myles Shaw, MD at RunRug, simply stated: “my key take-away from 2020 is that with a good team of people around you, you can get through everything. Even a global pandemic. We’ve learned in 2020 that having an eCommerce website is more than just a luxury within a business, it is an absolute necessity for survival within a fast changing business world. Every business must now adopt an online strategy, no matter what size of business they are. We feel incredibly lucky to have started our online journey 10 years ago and we are now reaping the benefits.”
Reflecting on 2020, Gianni reported “we really came together as a team and adapted to overcome every challenge the year has thrown at us. The immense dedication, talent and drive from each and every member of the Moda family left us in a great position as we approach Christmas and the New Year”. He continued, “we were blown away by the response to the Moda Black Friday event. At the beginning of the year, when the pandemic was starting to impact our lives and shopping behaviours, all predictions went out of the window and the brand didn’t know what was coming around the corner. We are incredibly thankful to now be in a position where they can report on a fantastically successful October and November, with high hopes for 2021”.
Future Planning for 2021:
You might think that after a busier year than ever seen before, retailers may want a brief break. Well, think again - not our clients!
In terms of how the events of this year will influence the game plan for 2021, Gianni announced: “next year, we are hoping to pick up from where we left off, with some exciting plans and events in the calendar. We will continue to grow our online presence, create some great new products and introduce new talent into the business, from external partners and internal recruits. We will also continue to grow our relationships with our charity partners including the NHS and The Pink Ribbon Foundation, giving back to help those in need of care and support”.
Anthony of CHO commented: “we remain optimistic about the situation and we have found the positives and opportunities in difficult situations”. He reported on the “terrific work” that the team came up with throughout the year, continuing to adapt to “continue to meet changing consumer needs” as the situation evolves in 2021.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of our clients for a monumental year and a special thanks to those who provided insight into their 2020.
RunRug are the UK’s largest stockist of multi-length carpet runners, stair runners and stair rods in the UK, offering a huge range of custom made carpet runners. You can find out more about RunRug at www.runrug.com.
Founded in 1975, Moda in Pelle combines quality Italian leathers and British sophistication, providing customers with affordable luxury, style and comfort. You can find out more about Moda In Pelle at www.modainpelle.com.
CHO combines “designer personality with timeless country style” - boasting top quality styles from big name brands such as Hunter, Belstaff, Tommy Hilfiger, Barbour International, Hugo Boss and Parajumpers - just to name a few! You can find out more about CHO at www.cho.co.uk.
If you would like to share your story, please contact the brand team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org