After the sunny weather persuaded shoppers to splash the cash during Easter weekend, here’s how high street retailers and SMEs leveraged the chocolate egg-munching mania
The Easter weekend is something many eagerly await. Not only is it a chance for plenty of employees to recharge, it’s an opportunity for retailers to prosper, which the latter certainly did this year, as shown by new figures of shopping trends across the period.
With warm and sunny conditions nationally and the BBC reporting highs of 25.5ºC, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has predicted total UK retail spending at £11.5bn over the Easter week. That’s equivalent to £410 per household – an 8.5% rise on 2018.
According to a separate study by retail intelligence firm Springboard, footfall increased by 8.4% on Easter Monday and by 6.5% on Good Friday compared to 2018. Possibly as a result of the sunshine, consumers soaked up as many rays as possible as high streets had more footfall than shopping centres – the former rose by 19.1% on Friday, while the latter decreased by 11% the same day.
Of course, the weather can have a have a huge impact on spending. Easter 2018 coincided with heavy rainfall over most of the UK, causing a 9.6% and 6.9% year-on-year drop in footfall on Good Friday and Easter Saturday respectively. Still, regardless of what the British weather may have lined up, it pays to be organised, as evidenced by the Cebr statistics.
Indeed, Jackie Mulligan, founder of e-commerce platform ShopAppy, believes retailers can really use the Easter weekend to their advantage, introducing things such as activities for children. “Whether that's in-store arts and crafts, dressing up in Easter-themed costumes or arranging classic egg hunts, activities like this would help attract shoppers to their local high street,” she says.
The Easter weekend can also be a much needed boost to retailers who compete with online stores, according to Mulligan. “For small businesses and markets, the importance lies in showcasing the fact that people can get everything they would need [for Easter] on their local high street,” she continues. “These tactics are super important for bricks. and mortar retailers and will give them an edge over larger online stores.”
Elsewhere, Abbie-Rose Curbison, account manager at Hyped Marketing, notes how the digital marketing agency capitalised on the Easter festivities by donating 100 chocolate eggs to children for an Easter appeal. “We sent out boxes of a ‘design your own egg’ kit to prospect clients and asked them to tweet in their design to add more chocolate eggs into the donation,” she says.
This approach provided more engagement for Hyped Marketing on social media. “As a service company, especially one that specialises in digital, creation of brand awareness is an essential first step in generating sales,” adds Curbison. “It increases spending potential as the campaign and its success showcases what we could do for new and existing clients. Whilst this did not immediately generate income spend, it will ultimately allow us to generate long-term income.”
While warm weather can bring the crowds, retailers must to use Easter to their advantage as much as they can and get cracking – then everyone’s a happy bunny.