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Small and medium-sized retailers to start Christmas promotions earlier this year

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The UK’s small and medium sized online retailers are planning to start Christmas promotions this week – a week earlier than last year, a Royal Mail study has found.

The delivery company questioned 322 SMEs, which employ up to 250 people, and found price promotion was the most common tactic set to be deployed in the battle to win sales this Christmas, cited by 57% of retailers. Some 55% said they would offer free delivery, and 35% free returns.

Some 64% of those that export expected international orders to account for a greater proportion of Christmas sales, while 51% said they expected international sales to grow.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels , said: “Royal Mail’s study of the UK’s SME online retailers shows competition for customers will start earlier this year, with price promotions the key tactic for online retailers as well as offering free delivery and returns to their shoppers. Royal Mail has also been preparing for the busy festive period and is opening a dedicated network of parcel sort centres to handle the additional volume we experience every Christmas.”

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