Is Your Business Open At The Weekend?
Remember the days when everything closed down on Sundays?
It is now second nature for us to do our weekly supermarket shop on a Sunday afternoon, but it wasn’t always like this. In fact, the Sunday Trading Act only came into effect in 1994, and this allowed stores to open their doors on what was previously viewed as a day of rest.
There has been a great deal of debate surrounding this 20-year-old law, with the government coming under greater pressure to liberalise it. At the moment, larger outlets are only allowed to trade for six hours on Sundays, but retail experts believe these restrictions are robbing the UK’s economy of billions of pounds a year.
Times are changing
We’ve already seen that the British public have an increasing desire to get things done on Sundays. The government relaxed the Sunday trading laws for eight weeks between July and September 2012 in order to accommodate the Olympic Games in London.
According to figures provided by the Office for National Statistics, retail sales in September 2012 were 3.2 per cent higher than in the corresponding month in 2011. There were a number of contributing factors behind this rise, but many believe the temporary lifting of the Sunday Trading Act was a key driver behind the improvement.
A study conducted by ecommerce specialist Rakuten earlier this year also outlined the growing importance of Sunday trading. It showed that Sunday December 1st was the best day for seasonal online retail sales in the build-up to Christmas 2013, even surpassing ‘Cyber Monday’ – a day that is designated for internet shopping.
It’s clear that Britain’s retail sector has been transformed in the past two decades and it would surprise nobody if the government finally removed the current restraints that are placed on businesses in the coming years.
Sunday calling is also taking off
At alldayPA, we’ve noticed a substantial increase in the number of customer calls being received by businesses at the weekend, particularly on Sundays.
In the past two years, there has been a more than 100 per cent rise in Sunday calling, and we expect this figure to grow even further in the near future. Customer service is a 24/7 process, and it is obvious from our own data that consumers want to make enquiries outside of traditional working hours.
Of course, not every business has the necessary resources to deal with customer queries on Sundays, which is why there has been a sudden upturn in the number of companies outsourcing their call centres. Maintaining high standards of customer service has never been more important, and those firms that are not contactable at all times will see their client base start to dwindle.
Take a look at alldayPA’s latest infographic to see how Sunday calling is starting to reflect the Sunday trading situation in the UK.