At the risk of stating the obvious, not to mention adding to the problem, reports suggest that, despite the much heralded recent upturn, consumer confidence in February was still low. It is of obvious concern to us in email marketing, but there are positives in the reported success of the vaccination programme.
Up until January this year, the way people in the UK viewed the economy had stayed more or less level since April 2020. Spending increased a little at Christmas, but even that was lower than expected. Despite the welcome figures, it’s obviously too early to talk about a return to the norm. Indeed, this might be normality for the medium term.
The consensus is that this change is due to the rollout of the vaccination programme. The level is higher than predicted by the Wall Street Journal. It has been described as a surge, but this might be overestimating what has happened, and we need to be cautious as we go into the balance of the year.
Just as the level of increase was unforeseen, there are many more factors, such as unemployment, higher taxes and inflation, that could have a significant effect on sales. It’s difficult, not to say all but impossible, to make predictions.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there. Prices for second-hand cars, for instance, are described as buoyant, 14% down over the year, and likely to be hit now that repossessions are being allowed. It’s not just a case of take your pick.
We need to experiment in our own section of email marketing and depend on the results of the returns. If there is an increase, then try pushing it. Whether you feel confident enough in the results to make a significant investment will be down to you and your data. Consumer confidence appears to be fickle and a particular occurrence might be enough to reduce any apparent increase.
If you are going to invest, then you do need to have a plan B, something to take the sting out of any unforeseen reversal. There will be dangers ahead. There will be profits to be had.