Recent figures from the CBI revealed ‘retail sales fell at the fastest pace in four months in October’ as people reined in spending in the face of more coronavirus restrictions.
As we enter the run-up to Christmas trading, Julius Cerniauskas, CEO at Oxylabs, advises that consumer shopping patterns will be very different to previous golden quarters. In light of this, it is critical that retailers optimise their pricing strategy for affordability.
“Covid-19 will reshape the golden quarter and consequently Christmas shopping will be different to anything we’ve ever seen before.
“In the UK, the latest data shows retail recovery slowed sharply in October as the second wave of the pandemic persuaded many shoppers to hold back on planned purchases. With much uncertainty ahead, it’s likely this pattern will carry on into Christmas with consumers prioritising affordability over luxury. In order to remain competitive retailers will need to review their existing pricing strategy.
“Shoppers are prioritising value over luxury, and understandably retailers must change or miss out during this critical trading period. We’re already seeing examples of this amongst high-end supermarket chains such as Waitrose and M&S, lowering the price on everyday items
“Retailers need to deliver a pricing strategy that agrees with consumers but also enables them to remain competitive. To do this they need to find the most efficient ways of tracking pricing. Ethical web scraping can support this.”
Web scraping, performed in an ethical manner, can automatically gather publicly available latest pricing information from predefined eCommerce websites. This data can then be used to set the price for products appropriately, depending on the conditions of the market.
“Although it is difficult to know what will happen in the future, retailers can continue enticing customers to their stores by having the best pricing and sales promotions in place. Ethical web scraping offers those in the sector an efficient and cost-effective solution to achieve this by staying competitive and maximising their sales during this golden quarter and beyond,” Cerniauskas concludes.