frasers group_featured image

How Frasers Group Has Been Agile and Rapidly Adapted to Shifts in Consumer Behavior

Compared to pure-play brands, classic retail has been devastated by the economic fallout of COVID-19. Brands who have been slow to build digital channels are having a terrible time now. J. Crew recently declared bankruptcy. Burlington, Dollar Tree, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls have all shunned e-commerce and are now paying the price.

But even retailers who have invested in online are facing challenges they never thought they’d see. E-commerce is vital not just for growth; it’s the only way to survive the economic downturn of a global pandemic.

Frasers Group, a £4 billion company in the UK, has traditionally counted on in-store shopping to bring in most of their revenue. That model has now been turned upside down by COVID-19.

So how is the brand coping?

Brick-and-Mortars Hit the Hardest

Once pandemic restrictions went into effect, Frasers Group took the first hit and closed their brick-and-mortars. With the majority of their revenue coming from stores, this put the brand in a vulnerable place.

The brand had to quickly reevaluate staffing and consequently furloughed many employees. They not only lost their main revenue stream, but they also had to seek out new streams with a smaller team.

Yet Online Revenue Is Growing

Like many businesses at the moment, Frasers Group has encountered a big increase in online purchasing, and they’ve been able to manage the influx because the brand was well prepared for a digital shift in consumer behavior.

Thomas Tregelles, the acting Digital Director for Frasers Group, describes how the brand has leaned into the digital shift:

“Agility has been key. For some brands the tightening of resources and the turbulent macro environment could bring e-commerce strategies to a halt. But even with a leaner team, Frasers Group has seen digital growth mostly by leveraging automation and making real-time adjustments to best convert customers. The luxury consumer, if confident in their financial position, continues to spend with their perceived higher disposable income, which has been felt across the digital landscape.”

Frasers Group had a sound strategy in place to expand e-commerce. Now that they’ve had to shift everything online, Frasers Group’s platform has made the difference, offering the team the agility to adapt and scale at speed.


It remains to be seen how retail will rebound once restrictions are lifted and stores open again. However, Frasers Group is already planning how to drive offline sales. Perhaps the greatest lesson they’ve learned is that there’s no reason to consider online and offline sales as separate revenue streams anymore. Profitability, in-store average order value, purchase frequency, and loyalty will be driven by all channels.

Thomas Tregelles anticipates that stores will see a temporary big increase in footfall post-pandemic as going into a store will become “a new thing to do” for people who have been locked away for weeks.

 Handpicked Related Content:

magento 2 webinar

Last Call: It’s Time to Migrate to Magento 2

computer mapping out new site keyboard fingers

Almost everything you should know about moving to Magento 2

The session features multiple e-commerce experts who offer guidance on the benefits of migrating to Magento 2, the advantages of the platform, and solutions to get you up and running quickly as you migrate away from Magento 1.



  • Daren Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President, Commerce at BORN Group
  • Marcell Kiss-Toth, Principal – Adobe Commerce, BORN Group
  • Dave Littlechild, VP Partnerships and Sales Development, Emarsys
  • Moderated by Adam Freeman, Marketing Channels Lead, Emarsys
Dave Littlechild
Dave Littlechild, VP Partnerships and Sales Development, Emarsy

“Time to value, it's the most important thing at the moment, because, you know, if we're not operating quickly or actually seeing things actually operational to make us money, it's too late. And I think the advantage then is that, you know, merchants get that incredible speed to market fast on the migration of the Web, the Web sites, but then [are] also able to capitalize on that fast time to value from Emarsys, from an omnichannel customer experience platform with our turnkey tactics.”


On-Demand Webinar: Bridge the gap between online and offline: Lessons learned 3 months with COVID-19

key takeaways to maximize digital commerce ecommerce icons

From offline to online… what happens next?

n this open audience discussion, find out what the past couple of months has taught us, and how to cut through all of the news and noise to get to the bottom of what it all means for retailers in a post-pandemic world.


Carson McKelvey, CEO, Tofugear Limited

Alfred Choy, Regional Sales Director, Greater China & Southeast Asia, Emarsys

Moderated by Daniel Hagos, Managing Director, Greater China & Southeast Asia, Emarsys

Carson McKelvey CEO Tofugear Limited
Carson McKelvey, CEO, Tofugear Limited

“I think for a lot of consumers, you know, the role of the physical store is permanently changed. It doesn’t mean it’s not important, it’s still a very important part of the customer journey, particularly for fashion, for beauty, for things like jewelry… any kind of high-ticket items, even things like automobiles, electronics, stuff like that. In fact, I think the value of going to a physical place, to try the product, is going to be greater than ever, but how that experience looks and what the journey is, is going to change quite drastically.”


Staying Relevant in the “New Normal”​

webinar practical tips - program

Adapting to the times requires a new approach

It’s clear we’re living in a time that’s unprecedented for the world of retail and e-commerce. As a result, brand marketers must change how they operationalize communications, prioritize campaigns, and discover new revenue opportunities. 

But as you adjust your strategy, how do you decide which campaigns to continue, or which ones to implement? What automations should become priority? The answers lie in finding out which opportunities will help you produce measurable business results.

Practical tips for optimizing your current marketing

In this webinar, Sonal Mistry, Director of Strategic Services, Emarsys, and Ellie Quacquarelli, Customer Experience (CX) Specialist, Emarsys, walk you through solutions on how you can  quickly transform your key funnel automations and introduce personalization to set your brand up for success in light of COVID 19.

Sonal Mistry
Sonal Mistry

“A large component of adapting to the times is really around how we prioritize our campaigns, and especially around looking at where the key opportunities lie right now, in this time, in the new normal.”

webinar ecommerce retail

Rewriting Retail: The Role of E-Commerce in Your Retail Recovery

sign front_of_store_sorry closed due to covid-19

Deliver better customer-centric e-commerce

Find out why traditional approaches to e-commerce need to change so your brand can recover in a post COVID-19 world.


Shannon Luxford, Chief Commercial Officer of Rodd & Gunn

Danny Phillips, Co-founder of Omneo and CX agency Arkade

Nick Hale, Commercial Lead ANZ of Emarsys

Moderated by Tess O’Brien, Communication Manager at Omneo

Nick Hale · Commercial Lead, Emarsys

“Consumers are adapting very, very quickly to the new world. I think, in turn, retail certainly needs to adapt quickly to essentially cater a customer experience to a lot of new people who may not have been online-first shoppers.”

closing the gap between first time buyers and customers webinar

On-Demand Webinar: Closing the Gap Between Digital First Time Buyers & Loyal Customers, FAST

customer dashboard post purchase feedback

Build 1:1 personalized customer relationships

In this webinar, find out how you accelerate retail growth by leveraging existing customers to increase new customer conversions. You’ll also uncover how to gain additional repeat purchases by offering personalized 1:1 customer experiences and referral rewards. 


Alex Timlin, SVP Verticals, Emarsys

Jocelyn Toonders, Head of Partnerships, Mention Me

Giles Harrison, VP Strategy & GM Expansion,  Mention Me

Moderated by Adam Freeman, Team Leader Marketing Channel Execution, Emarsys

Alex Timlin
Alex Timlin SVP Verticals Emarsys

“The conversion rate from referrals is a really, really important metric, and it’s something, I think, a lot of people are going to be surprised by. The effectiveness of referrals, as an organic driver of revenue, is actually a really, really important marketing tactic that is underutilized.”


On-Demand Webinar: 10 Key Learnings from Retail & E-Commerce Customers in Asia (Part 2 of 2)

Mitigate the Commercial Impact of COVID-19 Today

The pandemic has forced marketers to really think about what they send customers at a specific moment, and whether they’re offering value during a time like nothing the world has ever seen.  

However, by using the tactics and strategies discussed in the webinar, your brand can engage your audience in deeper and more meaningful ways. 


Carole Martin, Head of Strategy & Production APAC, Emarsys

Ben Norton, VP of Strategic Adoption, Emarsys

Moderated by Adam Freeman, Team Leader Marketing Channel Execution, Emarsys

Carole_Martin_Head_of_Strategy_and_Production_fo_ the_APAC_region
Carole Martin · Head of Strategy & Production APAC, Emarsys

“We need to focus on increased relevance… It’s important more than ever today. It is something that we’ve been telling our clients for a long time. Shift away from batch-and-blast. Focus on lifecycle, segment, personalize.”


On-Demand Webinar: 10 Key Learnings from Retail & E-Commerce Customers in Asia (Part 1 of 2)


Customer Engagement in APAC

The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the way we effectively engage our customers. While most countries find themselves in the eye of the storm at the moment, there are some brands in Asia that are on the path to a “new normal.” Find out what you can learn from them to help improve your digital strategies.


Carole Martin, Head of Strategy & Production APAC, Emarsys

Ben Norton, VP of Strategic Adoption, Emarsys

Moderated by Adam Freeman, Team Leader Marketing Channel Execution, Emarsys

Carole_Martin_Head_of_Strategy_and_Production_fo_ the_APAC_region
Carole Martin · Head of Strategy & Production APAC, Emarsys

“We need to focus on increased relevance… It’s important more than ever today. It is something that we’ve been telling our clients for a long time. Shift away from batch-and-blast. Focus on lifecycle, segment, personalize.”


On-Demand Webinar: E-Commerce Briefing: Changing Consumer Behavior and Global Macro Trends

COVID-19 has changed the world

As our world begins to recover from the pandemic, it’s clear we are a long way from establishing the rhythm of a new normal. This is more evident when looking at the rapidly changing buying behaviors of the global consumer.

Emarsys, the only omnichannel customer engagement platform, and Loqate, the world’s most trusted location intelligence service, combine their rich data set to uncover macro trends — by country and category — which are forming all over the world.

Ever-changing trends and behavior require brands to adapt

Now more than ever, brands must be able to identify trends and adapt quickly. In the webinar, Alex and Matthew share actionable insights on e-commerce, discuss clear patterns in consumer purchasing behavior, and offer evidence as to why you should look at your own product and sales data every day in order to be more adaptive as a brand.
Matthew Furneaux, Global Commercial Director, Loqate

“The total addressable online market is obviously expanding enormously during these different times, but I think when it starts to contract back again … I think that addressable online market will be bigger than it was when we came in [to these times] ... It’s going to be required of online retailers to be ready for that.”

line charts and numbers

Using Data, Marketing Agility, and Omnichannel Personalization to Navigate Trends and Drive Results During COVID-19

Let’s face it, product trends are difficult to predict. For example, could any of us have predicted the massive surge in toilet paper sales (+190% increase in March) spurred by the onset of COVID-19? Or the skyrocketing sales of tabletop puzzles (+300% increase in March)?

No one could’ve predicted these trends, because the pandemic itself was unpredictable. Certainly all retail and e-commerce brands have been impacted by it, and have had to respond to the shifting trends (some positive, some negative) across all sectors.

However, some brands have been able to respond better than others. Why? Did they have a crystal ball to help them see into the future? Not likely. Instead, they had the right digital marketing strategy (and technology) in place to enable them to respond accordingly.

One of the most important lessons to be learned from COVID-19 is that, although you can’t always predict product trends and consumer tastes, you can position your brand to be agile and personalized enough with its marketing to accommodate changes in demand and remain connected to customers. Brands achieve this through their use of data and analytics, marketing execution, and omnichannel customer engagement.

Learning from Data (So You Can Take Action)

Marketers are privy to vast amounts of data. But the value in data isn’t in quantity — it’s in how you use it. Brands that know how to learn from their customer, product, and sales data and then act on those learnings will have the most successful business results.

Using Data to Identify Product Trends

Remember, it’s quite difficult to truly predict product trends. But great data allows you to quickly identify trends as they are occurring. The sooner you identify a trend, the sooner you can respond.

Seek out data sources that can tell you about product trends relevant for your industry. Reliable, up-to-date data sources aggregated from large amounts of consumer data — like — gives you actionable information about the latest product trends, regional observations, and industry insights.

charts and graphs from ccinsight

Resources like give you up-to-date insights about current product trends, as well as region and country trends.

Using Your Own Data

Your customer, product, and sales data are also sources for finding new opportunities. Understanding what opportunities exist in these data sets will help your brand accelerate business outcomes.

You’ll be able to infer quite a bit about product trends based on what you see in your own product data. By looking at your sales data, you can see what’s working or not working, which will tip you off as to whether you need to adjust your marketing efforts.

Leveraging these data sets is key in order for your brand to be more responsive to future trend shifts — whether caused by an act of nature, changes in culture, or otherwise. And if you can have all your data centralized, you can respond to these unexpected changes with even greater urgency.

CCINSIGHT.ORG | Data-Based Consumer Insights to Help Retailers Drive New Strategic Approaches to COVID-19

Agile Marketing Execution

As lockdown protocols in many nations are slowly being eased, we will see shifts in product trends, and more notably, consumer behavior.

We’ve already seen the obvious change in consumer behavior caused by COVID-19, which is: Increases in online shopping and the widespread embrace of e-commerce.

Retail brands who had already embraced a digital-led strategy (and e-commerce brands who already had a strong digital marketing strategy in place) were the best prepared to accommodate this change in consumer demand. For these brands, an e-commerce-first mindset, along with the right marketing technology, rendered them more agile and responsive to the industry-wide shift.

Agility Starts with Finding Opportunities in Your Data Sets

Data tells you where opportunities lie. To take advantage of those opportunities, your martech solution must allow you to rapidly align customer engagement and marketing strategies to the business outcomes you desire. Then, having found those opportunities in your data sets, it will become easier to execute in an agile way.

What You’ll Find in Your Data Sets

Customer, product, and sales data will show you opportunities around where engagement is happening. For example, look to data sets to identify what products are driving the most traffic (based on browsing behavior).

Using this insight, you can plan your supply chain and how you’re currently marketing to existing customers who’ve viewed these products. Then, deploy product-specific campaigns to target these customers.

What You’ll Find in Product Trends

Product trends will guide you on how to prioritize your inventory, and how you can market to existing or new customers. What products are selling? Plan your inventory fulfillment accordingly and optimize around what people want to buy.

Look at the product trends and ask: What products have seen a drop in sales? Are there marketing use cases at your disposal to help increase engagement on these products, and drive sales? Which programs should you de-prioritize?

Flexible Approach to Marketing

Going forward, some customers will revert back to the old ways, and brands will begin to see revenue from in-store purchases slowly return. However, these brands need to be prepared for the large portion of their customers that have grown used to the conveniences of online shopping, and intend to rely on this as their primary form of engagement with a brand.

Your customer engagement platform should allow you to be agile and flexible when it comes to your marketing.

As trends and customer behavior fluctuate, so too will the marketing use cases and engagement strategies you want to employ. Even your business objectives may shift. Some of these changes may be time-sensitive, and you’ll need a platform that allows you to achieve this in days, not weeks or months.

CCINSIGHT.ORG | Get Up-to-Date Views and Trends of the Economic Impact that COVID-19 has on Online Retailers

Personalized Omnichannel Customer Engagement for Now and After COVID-19

The move toward personalization in marketing was accelerating even before COVID-19 hit. It’s now a customer expectation, and brands must be able to deliver true 1:1 personalized omnichannel experiences in order to win and retain more customers.

Look to product trends and your data sets to fuel your personalization. These sources give you the material needed to create and deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, and help you win back customers, and/or build customer loyalty.

Also important: delivering through the right channel. Which is why an omnichannel approach is vital today, and will continue to be long after COVID-19 passes.

If you’re a traditional brand who has acquired new customers during the pandemic, and those customers have been engaging your brand through digital channels, that may be the only channel through which they “know” your brand. Once stores open, you’ll need to be able to continue engaging with them offline as that option becomes available.

Conversely, if you’ve previously engaged customers primarily or exclusively in-store, you’ll want to use digital channels to engage the new pool of customers who’ve grown accustomed to online shopping over the past few months.

What’s key: Your data and marketing should be unified on a single platform, so that you’ll have a complete single view of the customer.

Going Forward

When it comes to product trends and consumer behavior, flawless predictions are rare. However, your brand can use marketing to generate predictable business outcomes. It starts with accessing the data, technology, and expertise you need to inform your marketing decisions, and implement actions that lead to measurable business results.

COVID-19 was an unexpected anomaly, one that had a swift and profound impact on retailers and e-commerce brands alike. But we’ve learned something: Even though you can’t always predict shifts in product trends and consumer shopping behaviors, you can prepare your brand to respond when these shifts occur.

Learning from your data and analytics, maintaining agility in your marketing execution, and incorporating personalization into your omnichannel customer engagement will ensure your brand is ready for anything.

Handpicked Related Content: