Marks and Spencer poor sales, is there a credit crunch?
I am not actually sure there is a credit crunch you know. Yes things are tight, but the data I am seeing is showing that businesses that have the right marketing strategy in place are not suffering as much as the media would have us all believe.
Looking after the number of sites we do, we are privileged to see the sales figures going through on a month by month basis, and I can tell you there are still some good numbers being recorded.
The Marks and Spencer effect
After last week, you would have thought the retail world had collapsed. The release of M&S figures highlighting a decline in sales, was met with disarray and cries of recession from those looking to compell the doom? What surprised me is the doom and gloom being declared following the results came so soon after M&S had recorded record profits the year before. I found it very convenient the record profits were forgotten so quickly.
A drop in sales can come in any number of ways, who’s to say the product offering which was working last year is relevant for this years market? Is it that M&S have not responded to the shift towards online sales as quickly as their competitors?
Ask yourself the question, do Marks and Spencer dominate Google in the same way the store dominates the traditional high street and out of town shopping? As far as I am concerned, the answer is no.
Who’s to say there has not been a significant swing in sales posted online, and the reduction suffered in sales by M&S is because their online strategy is not working as it should be? Out of town shopping is having it tough – petrol prices alone are seeing to that. So if I don’t visit Bluewater and the like, I may turn to shop online, and where am I likely to start my shopping? That’s right Google, the world’s biggest high street.
So are M&S doing enough to make use of Google’s high-street? Do M&S have enough shop fronts (generic terms) appearing in top 5 places driving traffic to their site? The twenty terms I looked at would suggest not.
Womens Fashion – No result in top 30
Shirts – No result in top 30
Skirts – #6
Lingerie – #10
Hosiery – #12
Maternity Clothes – No result in top 30
Tights – #16
Bridal – No result in top 30
Schoolwear – #9
Blazers – #11
Boys Blazers – No result in top 30
Girls Skirts – #1
Girls Fashion – No result in top 30
Girls Clothing – No result in top 30
Kitchen Utensils – #6
Egg Poacher – #16
Bras – #12
Bedside Table – #19
Bedside Tables – #4
Nightwear – #11
Now, I know that M&S have got a good array of top 5 results, but the list above demonstrates there is serious traffic being missed by M&S. To have only two terms in twenty appear in the top 5 is for me a potential weakness for M&S and a contributory factor as to weaker sales considering the fact we know more people to be shopping online.
Whilst I will not deny that things are tough, if more people are shopping online and a site is not in the mix for these critical positions, then you cannot expect brand name alone to drag people to your online store.
I appreciate things are tough out there, but there are still good numbers coming in from a good cross-section of businesses and that’s why I am would suggest to not believe