London, UK – 7 November 2016 – ChannelAdvisor Corporation (NYSE: ECOM), a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions, today revealed the results of its E-Commerce Holiday Season 2016 research, reflecting responses of 102 UK retailers. This year, UK retailers are expecting consumers to fill up their virtual stockings more so than ever before; 47% anticipate an increase in online sales compared to last year’s festive shopping. What’s more, 21% of those retailers expect an increase of more than 10%.
The research, which questioned senior e-commerce decision makers at UK retailers, paints a merry picture of how consumer shopping habits, major discount days and innovative marketing strategies will help brands to drive a bumper sales period this Christmas. And if you’re wondering why you’re already being bombarded with promotions this year, that’s because 50% of UK retailers started their Christmas campaigns in August or earlier:
- The early bird catches the worm: In 2015, the majority of retailers started Christmas promotions in September (34%) or August (23%), with 19% starting in July or earlier. This year, retailers have recognised the importance of getting in even earlier to beat the competition
- Black Friday turns a hefty profit: 26% of UK retailers said the most profitable day in their e-commerce calendar is Black Friday, followed by Amazon Prime Day (22%) and Cyber Monday (15%)
- Increase your marketing, or “yule” be sorry: When it comes to the top strategies employed by UK retailers to boost Christmas sales, nearly 40% plan to increase digital marketing and advertising spend, with many retailers offering more promotions specifically around Black Friday
While the retail outlook for Christmas 2016 is far from bleak, 51% of the retailers questioned said that their biggest challenge for the holiday season is order fulfilment. With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, this could become a particularly thorny obstacle for retailers to overcome if consumers leave their last-minute shopping until later on in the working week. The research found that 38% of retailers are offering a 20th December cut-off date this year for guaranteed on-time deliveries. And to make sure Santa delivers those gifts for consumers before Christmas morning, 52% of retailers are offering same-day delivery; and 66% are offering next-day delivery.
“Consumer expectations continue to increase. They expect high quality products at a competitive price, delivered quickly and for free,” said Mike Shapaker, managing director, EMEA at ChannelAdvisor. “As we approach the busiest time of year for online retail, these expectations are amplified. Thus, as it is for every holiday season, preparation is key if retailers want to reap the rewards of the season. If you haven’t tested your websites and outlined your promotional calendar, it’s almost too late—you better do it now. In this highly competitive environment, retailers that can deliver on consumers’ high expectations will dominate.”
Other key findings from the research include:
- Rudolph goes mobile: 66% of UK retailers now offer a mobile app for Christmas purchases made on the move. Not everyone will have a mobile app that is widely used so be sure your site is mobile-optimised
- A star is born in Facebook: 62% claimed it was the top social platform for sales conversions
- PayPal tops list of preferred payment methods after debit/credit cards: 66% of retailers said PayPal is the most popular payment method used by customers after debit and credit cards, followed by Amazon Payments (19%) and Apple Pay (6%)
Notes to editors
ChannelAdvisor commissioned Morar Consulting to conduct the 2016 E-Commerce Holiday Season Survey. This research, which was conducted in July 2016, interviewed a total of 203 UK and US senior e-commerce executives. The fieldwork was done via online questionnaire.
ChannelAdvisor (NYSE: ECOM) is a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and branded manufacturers to integrate, manage and optimise their merchandise sales across hundreds of online channels including Amazon, Google, eBay, Walmart, Facebook and more. Through automation, analytics and optimisation, ChannelAdvisor customers can leverage a single inventory feed to more efficiently list and advertise products online, and connect with shoppers to increase sales. Billions of dollars in merchandise value are driven through ChannelAdvisor’s platform every year, and thousands of customers use ChannelAdvisor’s solutions to help grow their businesses. For more information, visit www.channeladvisor.co.uk