Posted 07 November 2013

Without the phone, will 2013 be the year that E-tail stole Christmas?

Online marketing this Christmas is an essential in the retail sector if you’re going to make the most of consumer’s festive spending in 2013.  2012 was the first year that online shopping overtook actual shopping. A study by SDL showed that out of 2000 people surveyed across the UK, 54.2% of their overall spend was to be made online compared to 40% in store or 5.8% catalogue shopping and tv shopping channels.  Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said the signals on the rising conversion rate were even more promising for e-tail in 2013.

“For the first time in three years we expect annual e-retail growth to exceed the level recorded in the previous year, with 2013 sales on target to achieve 15% growth on last year,” she said.

A new study from eBay stated that during May and June this year, there had already been more than 150,000 UK searches for “Christmas” on its website, but that typically, people started to research gifts in October. So if your online marketing isn’t in place already and you’re running a little late; get on it.  What’s important though is that you don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas, by making sure that your customer gets the best online experience possible.

Christmas is a stressful time of year with the pressure on for people to get the perfect gift, particularly the larger and more expensive ones.  A recent study showed that 83% of consumers needed some kind of help to complete an online purchase, and ResponseTap’s own research showed that 60% of people say they would trust a retailer more if they could speak to them on the phone.  This option of human contact for your potential customers is essentially the icing on top of your Christmas cake.

Whether you are providing a phone number on your website for customers to ask questions or to offer the option of buying via phone; often preferred when buying a more complex or expensive product, make sure you link your online marketing to an offline presence to ensure that this is not the year that e-tail stole Christmas.

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