Christmas is coming: The most lucrative season in eCommerce

With only a few weeks left now until the festivities begin, the pre-Christmas business is already in full swing. As the season showing the strongest turnover of the whole year, Christmas in eCommerce is bringing in the shoppers in droves. Most consumers make their Christmas purchases in November and the first days of December, spending an average of 456 euros in the process.

Are you a retailer or manufacturer involved in eCommerce and hoping to boost your turnover? Then there is no better time to do so than this Christmas!

Retailers and manufacturers can look forward to the Christmas trade

For Germans, eCommerce represents a central shopping location for securing their purchases for Christmas. The main advantages are convenient home delivery, simple price comparison and the large selection of products available in online retail. Only 6 percent of consumers now make their holiday purchases exclusively from stationary retail.

For the first time, more and more Christmas gifts will be ordered this year via smartphones. According to a current forecast, some 46 percent of online purchases before Christmas are expected to be made via smartphones, 44 percent via computers and 9 percent via tablets. At the same time, Christmas sales are expected to increase by a total of 13 percent over the previous year.

The most popular shop is the online giant Amazon (72 percent), which in eCommerce circles is already referred to as the number one Christmas search engine. Altogether, four out of five Germans visit there on a gift hunt. Besides Amazon, consumers also use eBay (33 percent), as well as other platforms such as Zalando, Otto and others (32 percent) for Christmas presents for their loved ones. Google Shopping is used by the fewest to procure their holiday gifts (10 percent).

These figures show the importance of eCommerce – especially during the Christmas season – and generally highlight the increasing importance of online business.

A pleasant surprise: What Germans wish for under the Christmas tree

The wish lists among Germans are clear. Besides the favoured gifts of money, men and women alike value books and sweets. Women are also happy with cosmetic products or perfume (38%). Men, on the other hand, like to see culinary delicacies (22%) under the tree.

Consumers this year will again be able to enjoy the more traditional gifts of money, books, games, sweets, clothing and shoes this year – with these items being among the top gifts in 2018.

Christmas business: The challenges for online retailers

The Christmas trade presents retailers with major challenges. Especially during this period, the price war in eCommerce will be picking up speed. The large number of online shops and marketplaces, however, will put smaller online retailers at a disadvantage. These have the feeling of needing to fight the online giant Amazon for every single customer. But they need not feel disadvantaged at all! With just a few clicks you can improve your market position and gain advantages in eCommerce. For this it is essential to grapple early with the price and product line offerings of your competition and to keep direct competitors constantly in view. Using supportive tools like blackbee, you will stay well informed about how prices, products or even complete product lines are shifting amongst your competitors, and can then make the necessary adjustments at lightning speed. In this way you will always remain one step ahead of your competitors.

Once you have achieved a good market position, you can no longer save yourself from the rush of customers over the pre-Christmas period. Whilst Christmas shopping, customers go on a gift hunt and will want to find one bargain after the other. As a retailer, you will now have to contend with a large number of customers, which is not so easy to manage. As we know, not all customers are equally satisfied, since some have special needs or wishes – and, for 39 percent of retailers, this represents a particular challenge in customer service.

Some 67 percent of retailers see increasing e-mail traffic during the pre-Christmas period as an enormous challenge. Answering these numerous incoming e-mails requires a variety of resources. Further challenges include weekend work (60 percent), a large volume of telephone calls (52 percent) and the accumulation of overtime (50 percent).

To ensure your anticipation doesn’t turn into frustration, we’ve put together some tips for online retailers to help you prepare optimally for the Christmas rush. In this way the cheerful Christmas season will pay off for you, the online retailer, and transform from the most labour-intensive time of the year to the most lucrative one.

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