The 2013 festive period proved to be another record breaker for online and multichannel retailers. However this increase in visitors and sales did not always equate to an increase in profits. So without further ado here are the big winners and losers of Xmas 2013.
During December John Lewis reported a 7.2% increase in sales which sounds impressive except when you compare it to their online sales which increased by a huge 22.6% YoY. Online sales for the retailer now account for 31.8% of its total sales which is also up YoY. Click and collect likewise saw a surge in popularity with orders up 62% from last year.
The rise of mobile continues with John Lewis reporting that ¾ of all traffic is from mobile phones and tablets
So how did they achieve such a feat?
They made a point of targeting high value and searched for items such as E-readers and tablets a PPC priority. They also have a streamlined and simple checkout process that removes navigation and search boxes thus minimising leakage.
The mobile experience has also been optimised further from recent years simplifying navigation, product pages and checkout all helping to make the most of increased mobile traffic.
As with many retailers they offer a click and collect in store service. Research has shown that 80% of UK consumers have used this type or service, with up to 20% using it at least once a month. Showing that ecommerce sites and high street stores can not only co-exist but operate for mutual benefits.
Amazon announced a record holiday season with more than one million customers becoming new Prime members in the third week of December.
The entire 2013 holiday season was the best ever for Amazon, with more than 36.8m items ordered worldwide on Cyber Monday, which is a record-breaking 426 items per second.
Having a large Ecommerce platform is great but unless the infrastructure is in place to ensure that orders are fulfilled and dispatched on time then even the biggest online presence will not help. It is also not a surprise that amazon regularly tops the charts when it comes to customer service. They are also one of the biggest proponent’s in conversion optimisation conducting 1,000s of tests every year.
A great price, a great choice and a great experience will lead to amazing sales, easy.
House of Fraser enjoyed its best Xmas trading period on record, driven largely by a jump in online sales. Like-for-like sales for the three weeks prior to 28 December rose 7.3%, with online sales up by almost 57.7%.
House of Fraser has achieved these figures by investing in their online presence and making sure that it is as rewarding for the user as possible. They also offered next day delivery and free delivery to store which helped entice shoppers.
Data from Experian shows that Boxing Day 2013 was the biggest and busiest day ever for online retailers in the UK. British internet users made 129m visits to retail websites on Boxing Day, a 15% year-on-year increase, making 26 December the biggest online shopping day ever. Boxing Day sets UK Ecommerce records.
Debenhams has reported that online sales increased by 27% for the 17 week period to 28 December 2013. Overall online sales accounted for 15.6% of total sales compared with 12.4% for the same period last year. However, online delivery income was lower than anticipated.
This means that, despite the increase in commerce revenues, Debenhams’ pre-tax profits for the six months to April 2014 are expected to reach £85m, down from £115m in the same period in 2013.
With the rise of collect in store Debenhams has been a victim of its own multi-channel strategy but with a strong online presence and further optimisations to their Mobile and desktop sites they can ensure increased sales for the coming years.
Stats include Boxing Day ecommerce traffic, mobile sales and conversions from Amazon, Experian, Debenhams, John Lewis and Econsultancy.