With 43 shopping days left until Christmas 2011, eCommerce operations across Europe are gearing up for what looks like being a strong growth year for online retail.
With the economic climate across Europe looking increasingly bleak as Italy considers austerity measures and Greece’s future in the Eurozone uncertain, it is no surprise that European shoppers are more price conscious than ever as they go about their Christmas shopping. Increasingly savvy shoppers will not only find and purchase Christmas bargains online but are turning to a growing range of retailer touchpoints to inform their offline purchases as they hunt for the perfect gift at the perfect price.
While the Internet continues to deliver healthy double-digit growth for most retailers, lackluster summer sales and autumn clearance efforts have led to a shaky start to some Christmas campaigns. But while some retailers lurch from sale to sale, leading eBusiness executives are driving increasingly sophisticated multi-touchpoint strategies that aim to offer shoppers flexibility in how, where, and when they shop.
Mobile will undoubtedly play a much more critical role in assisting shoppers to find the perfect gift this Christmas, with innovative retailers such as John Lewis pushing the envelope by offering free in-store WiFi to its shoppers. But a multi-touchpoint approach does bring more complexity than ever, and managing a consistent experience and message across multiple touchpoints such as Facebook, mobile, the Web and stores is a challenge that busy eBusiness executives must face into.
We look at these and other trends across Europe in our European Online Christmas Retail Outlook, 2011, and for an alternative perspective of how things are evolving in the US, Sucharita Mulpuru has been looking at a US Online Holiday Retail Forecast, 2011.
In an increasingly complex and competitive environment, eBusiness executives across Europe must act now and demonstrate swift cross-functional leadership to ensure that Christmas campaigns are consistently executed across a growing range of touchpoints.
This year the race to Christmas is becoming tighter than ever.