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Analysis, news & advice

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From clicks to bricks, digital pure-plays  are showing the high street still has life

12 November 2018

Traditional retail might be struggling, but digital native brands are showing that there is still room to re-imagine the in-store experience. A growing number of online only retailers are opening physical stores – and there is a lot to be learned from their approach.

shoppers high street black friday bricks and mortar

Black Friday 2018 - Statistics and strategies for retailers

2 November 2018

Factfile:

  • 88% of shoppers will visit a physical store over the Black Friday weekend, up 6% from 2017, but 68% plan to do most of their shopping online.  (Natural Insight)
  • On average, shoppers expect to spend $57 more on Black Friday itself than Cyber Monday (survey on blackfriday.com)
  • 2017 saw a 17% increase in online sales, with 40% of those coming through mobile devices, an increase of 11% on 2016. (Adobe)
  • Black Friday purchases are 50% more likely to be returned than purchases made outside of the 4-day weekend window. (LCP)
  • Overall holiday spend is forecast to increase 4.1%, with major players Amazon, Walmart & Target expected to dominate in the US. (National Retail Federation)
  • More than half of shoppers surveyed are beginning their Christmas shopping now that Halloween has ended. (GlobalData Retail)

Black Friday is growing across the week

Friday 23rd November 2018 will see the centrepiece of the Black Friday shopping weekend, though promotions, sales events and marketing will lead to a shopping peak beginning days earlier. This continues the trend of the past 4 years as retailers move to stake out days as their own prime promotional territory. Overall the shopping peak has been growing steadily in the UK, though Volo data last year showed a fall on the day itself year-on-year. This was more than offset by increased purchases before and afterwards. 

shoes merchandised retail layout

Social communities and artificial intelligence are the futures of product discovery

1 November 2018

Algorithms are already highlighting products to us based on data collected about our purchasing and browsing habits, whether individually or as a demographic segment. In future, the way we discover products will be both more reflective of natural shopping behaviour and more technologically dependent than ever.

Product discovery means someone coming across or being shown a product she’s interested in buying. It isn’t the same as finding a product she’s looking for through search engines (although search engines are often used as product discovery tools) – because in that case she already knows what she wants. We’re talking about discovery, the moment of “ooh, I want that”.

This has happened in plenty of different ways in traditional retail. Perhaps most obviously, part of the enjoyment of going out shopping is in discovering something new and exciting to own. Additionally, print media and advertisements were a primary form of product discovery for decades and are still relevant places for shoppers to find new things to want. Finally, word of mouth and seeing a friend or peer having/using/wearing a product is and will remain an essential way in which we find new things to buy.

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