It’s that time of year again. The summer has come to a close and we are gearing up for the holiday season.
When it comes to ecommerce retailers in Europe, 73% of them have already started to prepare for the holidays.
When it comes to the busy moments of the year, there is no bigger than the winter holiday season – traditionally the most lucrative quarter of the year.
So how are European retailers preparing for the holidays, a time when consumers stock up on gifts?
According to research, British-based brands are preparing early. Most online businesses across Europe (62%) begin their preparations for the holidays in August and September. While 27% of businesses begin their holiday preparations only in October and November.
Yet in the UK, ecommerce brands are most likely to begin their holiday preparations much earlier, in the second quarter. French brands, in comparison, wait until later on in the third quarter and early fourth quarter.
As of right now, just 4% of ecommerce businesses have claimed boldly that they are all set for the holiday season. Around half of the companies surveyed admitted that they have done some prep work.
Alternatively, a big 22% revealed that they are completely unprepared. Yet the level of preparedness does differ from country to country.
What strategies are in place?
Despite the differences in levels of preparedness, the majority of ecommerce shops are using the same strategies in order to drive higher profits during the season.
These group of strategies are anchored to better engagement and a broader audience reach. Among them, 27% are adding new products to their offerings. There are 17% that are focusing on selling across social media. And 16% of online shops are concentrating on updating their digital experience for their customers.
In fact, this general feeling of elevating the digital experience was broad. In fact, 81% of those surveyed agreed to the fact that shops that are not investing in social media commerce are going to be left behind during the holiday season.
Inflation or cuts?
Despite inflation eating into ecommerce, most online businesses are betting on cutting costs, with 1 in 4 offering free shipping, 22% are going with discounts, and 19% are offering special add-ons to products.
Again, there are differences between countries in Europe. In most countries, they are concentrating on offering discounts and free shipping, while in the UK and France, companies are offering add-ons such as 2-for-1 sales.
Aonther area of focus will be on the acutal packaging of products, to give them a more festive feel. For example, 81% of companies are fully focused on delivering Christmas-themed packaging or add holiday details suh as thank-you cards.
Yet when it comes to packaging, even more businesses are looking towards offering sustainable packaging. A huge 94% of online shops stated that they should offer sustainable packaging – yet whether they do so or not remains to be seen.
PS: ArganoStudios is one of the world’s leading digital products & experiences development & strategy teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.