Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Dart’s data--the Olympics issue

In the July issue of Direct Commerce, which hit desks last week, our cover story focused on what online retailers are doing in order to profit from a summer of sport including the Olympics, this week’s edition of Dart’s Data takes a look at some recent reports that cover the effects of this summer’s Olympics on merchants.

EPoS and ecommerce services provider Cybertill surveyed around 600 of its customers nationwide, and discovered that more than half (54 percent) said the Olympics would have little or no effect on their business. Just 19 percent said the Games would increase sales, of which most were based in the London area or sold sporting goods.

In contrast, however, a survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) concluded that the Olympics could provide a much-needed boost to employer confidence as a quarter of UK bosses say they think the games will be good for their businesses with only four percent predicting a negative impact on their bottom line. What’s more 63 percent said they planned to increase the number of permanent employees over the next three months.

But Conlumino’s Illuminating Retail study gives food for thought with the suggestion that much of the potential benefits and sales uplift attributed to the Olympics could be offset by higher costs due to retailers having to fund more staff, a greater number of deliveries and, potentially, longer working hours during the period of the Games.

Clearly, the Olympics are expected to deliver some benefits but the idea that the Olympics will be a saviour to the retail sector and reverse its fortunes are quite wide of the mark.--JD

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