Home Shopping Annual Trends – was your 2013 normal?

It’s that time of year again – when the Abacus Alliance’s Home Shopping Annual Trends report comes out. Sending all the mail order businesses in the UK scurrying to see if their experiences last year were typical, or differed from industry benchmarks.

You can download your copy from here, or read on to find out my top takeaways from the report.

Abacus Annual Home Shopping Trends ReportThe Abacus Home Shopping Annual Trends report is a must read for anyone with an eCommerce store. They take the ACTUAL transactional data from 100s of eCommerce businesses and model it to work out the month by month performance of different eCommerce sectors (from gift to clothing and gardening). Key stats looked at include AOV, catalogue mailing volumes, and total revenue. So you can use it to work out when you should be marketing, and as a performance benchmark for your activity this year.

There are some extra sections in this year’s report that give some great additional info:

  • Tony Lahert’s Consumer Indicators Report – provides an overview of key indicator changes in the wider UK retail market. Concise and easy to absorb, it’s a must read.
  • Catalogue 4 Business has profiled the marketing activity of cataloguers and non-cataloguers. Very useful if you’re trying to work how best to change your marketing mix
  • DMA National Client Email Summary – this is the most recent data in the report (only published in February!), and gives a guide to what marketing to integrate your email with, and the sort of emails to be sending
  • There’s also some expert interviews (including one with me), but do read Mark Pragnell’s – he’s an economist with some interesting views on the markets

Within the core data the key trends are:

  1. Year on year revenue has increased 10%, although Q1 (with it’s appalling weather) saw no growth
  2. AOVs have risen 2% to £52.40 – so we’re still around that £50 mark
  3. Big growth in catalogue volumes – across the year up 7%, although the first half of the year was flat! Biggest increase was in August where it grew 53%
  4. Beauty and Health sector bucked it’s trend and actually grew – by 11%. This sector is very different to the overall picture
  5. The Gardening sector reacted fast to the bad Q1 situation, cutting all mailing volumes, but that marketing activity doesn’t appear to have been moved to the end of they year, just stopped.

Go on – take a look and see how your business stacks up in comparison.