What retailers expect this Christmas

Most retailers believe online will be the driving force for growth this upcoming festive season, whether that is via branded e-commerce sites, marketplaces or online sales events.

A recent 2018 Holiday and Christmas retail Snap Poll by Neto reveals small to medium businesses feel these online channels are of significant importance for successful Christmas trading.

“There are less than three calendar months to go till Christmas Day and, for many retailers, this period presents the largest sales opportunity of the year,” says Ryan Murtagh, CEO and founder of Neto.

“It’s noteworthy that every retailer we spoke to has online―either marketplaces, an e-commerce store, or both―as a pivotal channel for its Christmas sales strategy. Regardless of their size, we’re seeing most Australian retailers adapt to the evolving shopping preferences of consumers.”

Other findings include 50 per cent of retailers using marketplaces as part of their channel mix expect up to 25 per cent of Christmas sales to come through this channel, while 43 per cent of retailers expect their branded e-commerce site to trade higher volumes and contribute to a higher mix of Christmas sales in 2018.

Also, social media is the most popular marketing tool for retailers with 85 per cent indicating they will use it leading up to Christmas with Facebook still the most popular (99 per cent), followed by Instagram (74 per cent) and Twitter (18 per cent).

However, one interesting statistic stood out for Murtagh as 58 per cent of retailers say they intend to offer major promotions or sales before 25 December. This is higher than the amount of retailers (54 per cent) who intend to offer sales post-Christmas ie the traditional Boxing Day and January sales.

“It’s interesting that nearly 60 per cent of retailers intend to offer sales before Christmas rather than in the traditional post-Christmas sale periods. One could speculate this is a result of growth in e-commerce and online marketplaces where price has a stronger weighting around sales conversion.

“It’s also testament to shoppers expecting a consistent sales experience regardless of which channel they buy from. For retailers, this means being able to sell everywhere and manage everything seamlessly, particularly in busy sales periods such as Christmas,” he adds.