Royal events are always steeped in history and culture, and can bring people from across the world together – not just the UK or Commonwealth nations. Millions of people are expected to tune into live news coverage and throw street parties to mark this extraordinary event.
For e-commerce sellers, King Charles’ Coronation is an excellent opportunity to create promotions and engage with customers looking to celebrate this historic moment.
However, time is ticking, and you must act fast to make the most of this unique occasion. But don't worry, we've got you covered!
In this article, we'll give you some quick tips and share royal occasion statistics to help you plan and execute a successful coronation-themed celebration in your store.
The popularity of royal events
Royal events have captured people's attention worldwide due to their rich history and the extensive media coverage of royal occasions – making them accessible to a global audience and allowing people to experience the grandeur and spectacle of these events.
To illustrate the extent of the royal family's popularity, consider the following statistics:
According to the Centre for Retail Research, new retail expenditure for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee (from April to June 2022) totalled £408 million. Street parties and events marking the occasion brought an additional £121.360 million to the UK economy, and tourist spending increased by £143 million.
Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales' wedding on 29th April 2011 generated £156 million in UK celebration spending. As a result of the extra UK bank holiday to mark the event, many retailers closed stores as a sign of respect, resulting in an online spending increase of 17% (totalling £90 million).
The birth of Prince George (13th July 2013) generated around £243 million in retail sales of royal memorabilia, toys, books, newspapers, digital media and general festivities.
For the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding (19th May 2018), £30 million was spent on royal family merchandise, £10 million on books, newspapers and media, and the UK public spent approximately £35 million marking the day with parties and celebrations.
It was estimated that 4.1 billion people worldwide tuned in to watch Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral, roughly twice the number of people who watched Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.
E-commerce sales guide to celebrating King Charles’ Coronation
Source King Charles III merchandise
Online searches for 'Royal Memorabilia' increased by 100% following Queen Elizabeth II's passing on 8th September 2022. Royal memorabilia and collectables are hugely-popular because they are seen as keepsakes that can be given as heirlooms or re-sold at a higher value.
In Germany, for example, a handwritten letter from Queen Elizabeth II sold for €8,300 at auction.
In the US, for example, an online seller sold a used teabag they claim was used by Queen Elizabeth II for $12,000.
The list of royal memorabilia you could sell in your e-commerce store to mark the King Charles Coronation is potentially endless - everything from commemorative plates to keyrings can provide a sales boost.
Here are some royal family merchandise ideas that have proved popular with UK royal enthusiasts in the past, according to the Centre for Retail Research:
- Commemorative currency: 12 million coins, tokens and medallions were sold to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee – the total value of items sold was £37.5 million.
- Mugs: Over six million mugs were sold for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee.
- Teapots: Over 120,000 teapots were sold to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee.
- Tea towels, tea caddies and trays: Over £2.9 million worth sold for Prince William and Princess Catherine's wedding.
- Books and media
- Over £76 million royal-themed books were sold to mark the birth of Prince George.
- 1.5 million books were sold for Prince William and Princess Catherine's wedding.
- Food and Drink
- Half a million bottles of commemorative champagne were sold for Prince William and Princess Catherine's Wedding.
- Spending on food and non-alcoholic drinks for Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee reached £105.97 million. Over £79 million worth was spent on alcohol.
- Miscellaneous royal memorabilia
- Toys and souvenirs (ranging from figurines to stationery) generated £80 million following the birth of Prince George.
If your store doesn't typically stock any of the above items, you can still join in the festivities by creating your own bespoke King Charles III merchandise. Seek out print-on-demand services through your e-commerce storefront's app store and add illustrations and regal phrases to your products to encourage sales.
In Australia, for example, online seller OzzieMugs has created a line of printed coronation-inspired memorabilia ahead of the 6th May celebrations.
Alternatively, if you're an artisan seller, create royal-themed products that display your creativity and feelings about the day. For example, champagne makers often mark royal occasions with special champagne. Florists can create unique bouquets, jewellery designers can design special pieces, etc.
UK-based seller Victoria Eggs, for instance, has created a line of homewares inspired by the late Queen Elizabeth II.
For instance, France-based seller Cassepieds has created sock designs featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II.
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Plan your royal family merchandise marketing campaigns
It's always advisable to start planning marketing campaigns one or two months before an event. To boost e-commerce sales for the coronation, use PPC advertising to reach a wider audience alongside getting your products featured in relevant blogs or news articles.
Notable advertising campaigns linked to royal family events in recent years include Coca-Cola's worldwide 'Share a Coke' campaign and Warburtons 'Perfect Jubilee Sandwich' survey. Upon the birth of Prince George in 2013, Coca-Cola created a billboard ad encouraging people to 'Share a Coke with Wills and Kate.' Warburtons polled 2,000 people on their favourite sandwich flavours ahead of the Platinum Jubilee (smoked salmon and cream cheese came out on top).
While both examples come from multinational companies, their messages and execution strategies are relatable enough for smaller businesses to emulate. They encapsulate the spirit of a happy family occasion and how people typically celebrate (i.e., raising a toast and eating party food). Therefore, it may be wise to follow along with this theme in your own campaigns.
Plan your logistics
Ensuring your customers receive your King Charles III merchandise on time will involve carefully checking the last available delivery dates with your fulfillment provider. Typically, to catch Second Class delivery to the UK mainland in time for an event, the last date for guaranteed delivery will be approximately four days before. However, with the usual 1st May UK bank holiday still going ahead, e-commerce sellers in the UK may need an extra day or two to ensure their UK customers get their parcels on time.
For e-commerce sellers and customers outside of the UK, as the coronation falls on a Saturday, it's unlikely logistics cycles will be affected. Take a look at our article outlining how the changing British monarch will impact businesses, for more information.
Once you have confirmed your last delivery dates, update your product pages and promotions. You should also send out an email and social media posts to remind your followers of your delivery deadlines.
Set up order tracking
Setting up order tracking through your e-commerce website is the best way to keep customers informed and avoid disappointment leading up to high-demand shopping seasons. It's easy to do using e-commerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce.
Search through the App Store for businesses like AfterShip and ShipStation, integrate your storefront, and your logistics partner will send automated delivery updates to your customers on your behalf.
Provide excellent customer service
Automating your fulfillment as much as possible will help you keep control of high-volume sales periods. However, you must also keep up with customer correspondence if they have any queries.
Setting up transparent and fair returns policies on your goods will help with this process. Research also shows that 78% of customers are more likely to buy from brands offering free returns, so make sure you clearly display your policy and address details on your site. You can also set up a returns portal on your website where customers can print labels and track the delivery of their returning parcels.
Celebrate the coronation of King Charles III worldwide with WorldFirst
Royal events are a great opportunity to increase brand awareness and sales from customers worldwide.
So, as a final tip, sign up for a World Account from WorldFirst. It integrates multi-currency payments from over 100 online marketplaces, helping you pay and get paid like a local – no matter where your store and customers are based!
Sign up for a World Account here, or call +44 207 801 1068 to learn more.
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