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Retailers with no multichannel strategy will struggle to benefit from the estimated £4.6bn Xmas spend, warns Venda

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UK retailers are unprepared for the peak Christmas fortnight, is the stark prediction from on-demand commerce solutions provider Venda. It has warned that retailers who have failed to embrace a multichannel e-commerce strategy will risk missing out on millions in revenue and struggle to secure their share of the IMRG’s estimated £4.6bn spend.

2012 has been a turbulent year for the British high-street, with disappointing sales, decreasing profits and well-known brands, such as Peacocks, Pumpkin Patch and Comet, going into administration. Now, more than ever, retailers are looking towards Christmas shoppers as their saviours, to ensure their survival into 2013. However, according to a recent a study from retail analysts Verdict and SAS UK, instead of fighting their way on the high-street this Christmas, UK consumers will be turning to the online stores of their favourite shops.

Eric Abensur, group CEO at Venda explains: “The harsh reality is that those major retailers we’ve seen close down were those that failed to fullyembrace the online and digital world. UK retailers need to seize every opportunity to convert Christmas shoppers into customers, not just browsers. This means supporting their customers shopping journeys through a multichannel ecommerce strategy during the peak Christmas fortnight. Ecommerce technologies on mobile, tablets and via social media will drive more shoppers to the high street and increase retail sales. Rather than ecommerce damaging high street stores, new technological innovations will be the saviour of town centre shopping. Successful retailers over this period will be the ones who no longer question the viability of ecommerce – mobile or social. Instead they’ve discovered how best to converge these channels.

He adds: “Cyber Monday on December 3 will mark the start of a very busy festive period for stores. Despite the tough economic times shoppers won’t spend less this Christmas but they will spend differently. Spending this year will be more fragmented than ever: divided between the High Street, desktopshopping, mobile, tablets and social media platforms, as shoppers look to grab the best deals. Spending on December 3 will be greatest on fashion products but there will also be significantgrowth, compared to previous years, in both the beauty and home furnishing sectors.”

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