Very.co.uk, the star brand of The Very Group, formerly known as Shop Direct, experienced a prosperous Christmas season with strong sales growth in fashion and sports. The webstore witnessed a notable 6.1% increase in retail sales during the seven weeks leading up to December 27, surpassing the wider UK non-food retail market. This growth was particularly evident in the fashion and sportswear categories, with sales rising by 9.6% and 19.8% respectively. Popular items that contributed to this success included Apple’s AirPods, the Series 3 Apple Watch, and Nike Air Max 270 trainers.
In addition to retail sales, Very.co.uk also enjoyed a rise in its total revenue of 3.4%, which includes income from its financial services provided through selling products on credit. The webstore experienced a significant increase of 14.4% in website visitors, reaching a remarkable total of 92.5 million. Moreover, the company saw substantial growth in new customers, with new credit customers increasing by 22% compared to the previous year. The Very app also played a significant role in this success, with sales through the app experiencing a remarkable year-on-year growth of 32.3%.
While Very.co.uk performed exceptionally well, the same cannot be said for the company’s other brand, Littlewoods. Group retail sales, including Littlewoods, only rose by 2.5%, and group revenue remained flat during the seven weeks.
It is important to acknowledge the efforts made by The Very Group to enhance the overall customer experience. The company attributed a 20% reduction in customer service contact to improvements in customer service performance, streamlined delivery processes, and increased stock availability. Impressively, the Very Assistant chatbot successfully handled 202,000 customer queries. The company employed a range of strategies, such as data analysis, personalized emails, on-site tracking, and social media monitoring, to gain insights into customer behavior and ensure seamless shopping experiences.
Furthermore, The Very Group delivered a staggering 6.9 million parcels through its delivery partners, which included Yodel, Arrow XL, and Royal Mail. Impressively, 25% of these parcels were delivered through Collect+, a service that allows customers to redirect their orders to more convenient pick-up locations.
In summary, Very.co.uk experienced a highly successful Christmas season driven by strong sales growth in fashion and sports. The company’s commitment to enhancing the customer experience, coupled with its data-driven strategies, undoubtedly played a pivotal role in its positive performance.