Adobe noted that the demand for online shopping was not deterred by persistent supply chain issues, even as consumers encountered more than six billion out-of-stock messages online, a 10% increase on 2020 levels and a 253% increase on 2019 levels. The figures also reflect the considerable growth of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payment options, which saw double-digit growth in 2021: revenue was up 27% year-on-year, while orders were up 10% year-on-year. However, the software giant observed that growth of BNPL options has slowed, “signalling challenges for gaining mass adoption”.
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Supply chain delays and winter lockdown fears prompted 45% of UK consumers to start their 2021 Christmas shopping early
Forty-five percent of British consumers planned to get their Christmas shopping done earlier than ever in 2021 thanks to supply chain delays and fresh fears of a winter lockdown as Covid-19 cases remain high. According to data from Braze, shoppers hoped to complete their festive shopping on average one week earlier than they have in prior years.
Thirty-five percent of respondents said their prime reason for starting their shopping sooner is the fear of supply chain issues delaying the delivery of their online purchases, while a further 31% claimed they’re worried about another lockdown being imposed closer to the celebrations. They’re also expecting to spread their spend more evenly across the coming months, with nearly two-fifths stating they will avoid purchasing too much during discount events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is thought that this is partly down to brands offering more consistent discounting throughout the year, which is enticing shoppers to buy more frequently and over a longer period of time.
This more consistent spending pattern indicates that customer loyalty is once again on the rise in the lead up to Christmas – spelling good news for brands that have invested more in customer retention over the pandemic. In September 2021, new customer growth decreased by 14% on the year before, while sessions per user increased by 17%.