SME online retailers forecast peak Christmas sales day

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Online retailers are predicting that 30 November will be the busiest day for sales this Christmas, according to Royal Mail’s latest research.

Conducted by independent research company, Brass, the study looked into 458 UK SME online retailers’ preparations in the run-up to Christmas.

It revealed that 77 per cent of these retailers believe their main competition for festive sales will come from other online retailers, rather than high street shops.

31 per cent of those surveyed said that juggling profit with price promotions was their biggest challenge while planning for Christmas.

But 41 per cent will use price promotions to encourage shoppers to buy from them this year, an increase of 12 per cent compared to 2012.

27 per cent of UK SME online retailers will be offering free delivery throughout the festive period, and 15 per cent will offer free returns.

However, a total of 34 per cent revealed they are not planning any promotions this season.

The research also found that one third of participants have invested in apps and IT upgrades, enabling customers to make purchases through their smartphones.

“Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail and our customers. Our research shows UK SME online retailers have been planning extensively for the important Christmas period, responding to customer needs to ensure they win their share of sales,” said managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, Nick Landon.

British SME online retailer Rock’n’Rose offers vintage-inspired jewellery and headwear worldwide.

The brand recently launched a mobile site to support the Christmas sales period, hoping to encourage sales via smartphones and tablet devices.

It will also offer customers 20 per cent off products this weekend, during what Royal Mail claims will be the online Christmas peak.

“Royal Mail has also invested in ten temporary parcel sort centres to increase our scale and improve our flexibility during this important time of year for our customers,” added Landon.

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