EUROPEAN’S BEAT BLUE MONDAY MALAISE WITH DOSE OF ONLINE RETAIL THERAPY
Since 2005, the third Monday in January has been awarded the gloomy title of ‘Blue Monday’. This is due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills, making it supposedly the most miserable day of the year.
Throw into the mix the spectre of COVID19 still looming large and continued restrictions in place across many European countries, Blue Monday 2022 has even more potential to be cheerless this year, with more than a quarter (26%) of Europeans expected to suffer from a Blue Monday dip to some extent.
However, research conducted by One Poll on behalf of Manhattan Associates, shows that retailers have the opportunity to turn January the 17th into a far more cheerful day with flash-sales & targeted offers, bringing a bit of joy back to consumers during one of the year’s most turgid and dull months.
ECOMMERCE STILL REMAINS POPULAR
When asked during the survey; ‘how do you prefer to shop?’ it appears that significant numbers of Europeans still prefer online shopping in January, as opposed to visiting traditional high streets and browsing, with the British and French topping the lists of ecommerce users at 45% and 43% respectively, in comparison to a 40% average across the rest of Europe.
Meanwhile, the population of the Netherlands plans to buy more items through mobile devices & in-app purchases than any other country in Europe, with 38% of respondents polled claiming smartphones and apps are their preferred purchasing methods – 6% points higher than the European average and 16% points higher than the lowest score of 22% in the UK.
The continuing, unstoppable march of ecommerce, and the importance of mobile-first retail platforms highlights the significance and pivotal importance of omnichannel capabilities as part of the frictionless commerce retail/brand philosophy.
EXERCISE KEY TO WELL-BEING FOR EUROPEANS
When asked: ‘what do you plan to do to try and overcome any potential January malaise?’ exercise was a popular response. In fact, (and maybe not surprisingly given the milder climates), Mediterranean respondents stated that they expected to exercise more in January than any other group, with Spain and Italy topping the responses at 39% and 38%.
This kind of customer data can be valuable for brands looking to target consumers with relevant offers & sales opportunities for specific days like Blue Monday, but only if systems are unified and can talk to all parts of the customer buying journey: from the crunching of historical data providing relevant, targeted offers; to the online experience, right through to the point of sale, warehouse and transportation elements involved in fulfilling an order.
FASHION IMPORTANT BUT NOT IN THE COUNTRIES YOU MIGHT THINK
When you think of fashion, you automatically think of the great and grand fashion houses of Paris and Milan, so perhaps interestingly, it is the Dutch followed by the Germans who get the most enjoyment from buying clothes and shoes in January, with 62% and 61% stating they get the most pleasure from purchasing clothes and shoes either online or in-store. This figure for the North Western European countries comes in at 6% and 5% (respectively), higher than the average European score of 56%.
In contrast, 52% of Italians polled highlighted that the purchase of electronic goods makes them the most happy (it must be all the coffee machines!), the largest percentage of all the European nations surveyed. The French are the most houseproud at 29%, while the Italians top the charts again, this time, for joy gained from purchasing beauty products, followed by the Spanish (at 36% & 30% respectively).
* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from One Poll. Total sample size was 12,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 12th January 2022. The survey was carried out online. All figures have been weighted and are nationally representative of adults (aged 18+), across all European markets mentioned *
CONVENIENCE STILL KING DURING ONGOING PANDEMIC
When asked: ‘when you shop online, which type of site do you like best? Europeans are still prioritising functionality and ease of use, over brand experience or sustainability credentials, with almost half (49%) of all Europeans highlighting they prefer online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, Alibaba or Rakuten, where they can browse and buy items from different brands and ranges at their leisure and with ease.
It seems that there is more than a shred of truth in the phrase ‘retail therapy’ this January, with a considerable percentage of Europeans expected to make purchases online on Blue Monday and continuing to shop via laptops, smartphones or apps for the remainder of the month.
Regional differences aside, it is clear that retail (especially online at this precise moment in time) has a significant role to play in the mental well-being of consumers during the darker, colder months of the year. The challenge for retailers is to deliver agile, responsive and connected supply chain and retail solutions that can meet the expectations of consumers and deliver that much needed retail pick-me-up for brands and individuals at the start of the year.
* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from One Poll. Total sample size was 12,000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 12th January 2022. The survey was carried out online. All figures have been weighted and are nationally representative of adults (aged 18+), across all European markets mentioned