The coming Christmas will be unlike any other that has gone before. Are you prepared? Swoop has a lifeline for businesses getting ready to meet the challenge
Christmas 2021 is going to be unlike any other. There are a number of factors contributing to this:
The move to digital
Leaders in the digital world are saying that the shutdowns of 2020/21 have accelerated transformation efforts by as many as six years, see full article on Forbes.
As customers have become used to shopping through websites and downloading the latest movie blockbusters, these habits will stick: why travel to a distant store to fight with unmasked strangers over the last Playstation when you can order from your own sofa during a commercial break?
Making up for lost time?
There is a sense that last Christmas was a low-key affair for many as family and friends avoided seeing each other, rather than enjoying celebrations together. The mood for Christmas 2021 is likely to be one of making up for last year and having a big celebration.
More spending power
A recent House of Commons report says that the household savings ratio (household savings as a proportion of household disposable income) “increased from 8.9 percent in January-March 2020 to 25.9 percent in April-July 2020, a record high since the series began in 1987.”
“Unsecured debt fell in each month between March 2020 and May 2021 in total, as many households reduced their spending and so were less likely to borrow.”
The impact of families forced to work from home during the pandemic means that they have made significant savings on travel, leisure and holidays.
Fewer seasonal staff
Post-brexit, finding staff to fill positions in the leisure and hospitality sectors has been a challenge. If you are relying on seasonal staff, you may find that it is difficult to attract as many people at the price you have paid in the past.
Put this all together and for a family keen to make a big celebration this year, there is money to act on that desire.
Businesses – particularly those for which the run up to Christmas is their biggest trading period – must be ready to respond to this demand with a strategy:
- Stock in the stores or warehouse
- Marketing to ensure that desire is created for product
- Brand awareness
- Focus on the digital offer, particularly UX
- Staff available to meet demand
Andrea Reynolds, Founder and CEO at Swoop says businesses need to invest early to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the Christmas rush:
“Christmas 2021 is a huge opportunity for businesses to rebuild their lost profits, reestablish with their customers and build positive experiences that will last into the new year and beyond. The two areas that businesses will find particularly useful in this environment are Merchant Cash Advance and Unsecured Loan products to support efforts in eCommerce.”
Merchant Cash Advance
This is an attractive product for many businesses because repayments are taken directly from sales terminals: lenders will not require a credit check or need to view your accounts in detail, though they will work with the company that processes your transactions to see how much revenue you are generating. Andrea says:
“The amount you repay is based on the lender’s assessment of the risk involved. They will consider the length of time you’ve been in business, your average monthly card payment income and the industry you work in.”
To find out more about the Merchant Cash Advance, further information is available here.
Andrea describes Unsecured Loans – which can be up to £5million – as “a quick, simple, and low-cost way to borrow.”
For businesses that need to fix their eCommerce offer in time for the rush, unsecured loans could provide the sort of money that is necessary to get the project done.
“There’s an old saying,” says Andrea, “that customers want things fast, cheap and high quality. But you can only pick two of those.” With Christmas looming, eCommerce problems need to be resolved to a high quality,
The great advantage of Unsecured Loans is that they can provide a rapid cash injection if your business lacks assets or if you don’t want to secure what assets you have against your loan. For companies looking to improve their digital offer, increase their marketing spend or hire seasonal staff, Unsecured Loans are a great option to cover expenses.
The funding may be accessed quickly, often on the same day that the loan is agreed, though the application process is typically more in-depth than for Merchant Cash Advance: lenders often specify the loan amount as a multiple of your business’s monthly turnover. They will also look at your trading history and credit score.
For further information on unsecured Loans, including the information that a lender will require, read more here.
Looking forward to 2022
Andrea Reynolds says:
“Current circumstances are a challenge for SMEs, not a barrier. There are options for companies that are feeling apprehensive about the coming festive season and if the last two years has taught us anything, it is that SMEs have the ability to move quickly and decisively. SMEs are the most agile part of the economy and it is up to business owners to ensure that they go into the autumn with the funds they need to execute their plans for success beyond Christmas and into the New Year.”