Thursday, 27 October 2011

Coping with the Christmas rush

A study by software and services supplier Postcode Anywhere shows that 25 percent of UK consumers said they plan to buy more Christmas presents online this year than last, with only 5 percent saying they will spend less. The Postcode Anywhere survey also highlights that 6 percent of respondents said this year they plan to start Christmas shopping online for the first time.

This upward trend follows on from Christmas 2010, when figures released by the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealed that Brits spent £6.8 billion online during December—a 25 percent year-on-year increase.

Postcode Anywhere’s sales and marketing director Phil Rothwell says, “With 5 percent set to reduce spend and 25 percent to spend more, all things being equal, retailers could well be looking at a rise of around 20 percent in online sales this Christmas, a similar increase to last year. This is a fairly significant finding, but possibly not a surprising one given the circumstances.”

If you are worried about the expected surge in sales, Postcode Anywhere has the following top tips for a happy clickmas.

• The ecommerce industry needs to capitalise on what promises to be the best Christmas ever for internet shopping. Consumers want bargains. They want to kick out and relax more than ever and they want to do it at the best price. The home of the best price is the internet, plain and simple.

• Retailers will want to ensure they can meet demand over the Christmas period. So stock levels need to be high.

• The website needs to be eminently usable; festive shoppers are fickle creatures!

• Merchants need to provide accurate delivery information to reassure buyers they’ll get their goods in time to wrap them and give them.

• The other side is repeat business. The seasonal splurge is a great chance to introduce your brand to consumers at a time when fantastic service has the potential to forge a lasting relationship. Get too bogged down by a rush of orders and sacrifice on service, and you might manage to get away with making a nice extra profit, but you won’t be managing any long-term relationships.--JD

Related article:
You still have time to prepare for Christmas.

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