Home Shopping Annual Trends – Shocking end to 2012

Earlier this month Abacus published the latest copy of their Home Shopping Trends report. It’s packed with cracking data on monthly sales performance in the Home Shopping marketplace. So whilst not covering the whole of eCommerce, it gives us a great set of benchmarks for understanding industry performance in the UK – if you’ve never read it you need to download a copy and sit down with it and a nice cup of coffee.

Abacus Home Shopping Report 2013Key Trends

For me there are 3 key trends in the report:

  1. Sales grew 8.9% year on year – home shopping / eCommerce / Mail Order are great places to be!
  2. Q4 was bad. November down 5.5% and December down 1.8% year on year.
  3. Catalogue Mailing volumes didn’t go up as much as Sales – just a 5.9% YoY growth. So either budget’s being moved to other marketing methods, or it’s becoming easier to sell.

I’m now very eager to see next year’s report to see if the November and December performances have continued into 2013, of it was just a Christmas issue. The mailing volumes data for November and December show that businesses were working very hard to drive the sales they could at the end of the year – with 16% November and 40% December YoY increases in mailing volumes. That is a huge increase.

Within the sectors it’s looking a little better

Abacus break the sales and mailing data down into 7 key categories (Beauty and Health, Clothing, Food and Wine, Gardening, Generalist Retail, Gifts, Gadgets and Entertainment, Home Interiors) and they didn’t all follow the industry pattern.

  • Clothing up 12% year on year, with a fairly similar monthly pattern. Here mailing volumes increased just 2.7%!
  • Home Interiors up 13% year on year, with again a similar sales pattern to 2011 – but mailing volumes more than doubling in Nov and Dec, serious over-mailing at that point.
  • Food and Wine increased revenue by 10.6%, doing much better earlier in the year. Huge mailing increases of 53%
  • Gifts revenue up 6.7%, and mailing up 9.9%. Interestingly mailing volumes down 15% in October ahead of a poor Christmas sales period…
  • Gardening (the only sector to really suffer) revenue down 9.4%, mailing volumes down 24.5%

There’s so much data here to delve into – I strongly suggest you get yourself a copy and see how it reflects your experiences last year.

You can download a copy of the report here, and of the last few year’s reports as well (you will need to provide them your details to do it).