In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on predictions – from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and from research from vouchercodes.co.uk – that this Christmas will be stronger than ever online.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has already seen more people shopping early for presents – including, no doubt, on Amazon Prime Day in October – and is now expecting an “unprecedented holiday season”, following on from a third quarter in which net sales grew by 37% and net profits by 200%.
This year, forecasts Vouchercodes, using research from the Centre for Retail Research, a third of Christmas spending will take place online - up from just over a quarter last year. That’s a difference of £5bn – the kind of figure that can put a strain on websites and logistics that were already under pressure in previous peak trading periods. At the same time, sales in stores are predicted to 7% down on last year.
That won’t come as a surprise at the end of a year in which shoppers have turned online to buy as never before. Puma and Shoe Zone have both seen high levels of online sales in recent months. For Puma, digital is helping sales rebound following a difficult first half of the year, but at Shoe Zone digital has not compensated for the loss of in-store business – and it is warning it may need to close as many as 90 of its 460 shops if the business rates system is not reformed.
Apple and Google both saw high levels of demand during the pandemic, as shoppers turned to their products as they stayed at home to work and study.
Many retailers have already been dealing with peak levels of ecommerce demand throughout the year. Now that’s set to intensify still further.
In today’s guest comment, Guy Elliott of Publicis Sapient has some timely advice as he considers how retailers can use digital to negotiate a second wave of Covid-19 during the peak trading season.