Trends Report

Lessons For Online Retail From Europe's 2007 Christmas Season

March 4th, 2008
With contributors:
Michelle de Lussanet , Benjamin Ensor

Summary

While high-street sales lagged throughout much of Europe, online sales during the 2007 Christmas period soared. Many shoppers opted to shop online, with groceries and consumers electronics the big online sellers. However, it wasn't such a rosy picture overall. Nearly all of the EU-7 — and particularly the UK — saw both deep discounting to attract footfall to stores and online pre- and post-Christmas Day sales, further squeezing margins. Combined with their overwhelming inability to organize across channels and widespread merchandising, inventory, and fulfillment glitches, this means that retailers aren't fully capitalizing on the opportunities that online and multichannel retail offers. Some multichannel retailers, such as Comet, Fnac, and Fortnum & Mason, and wine merchants like Majestic Wine Warehouses focused on getting the "basics" of demand and fulfillment management right while providing seamless end-to-end customer experiences online and offline; their reward was record-breaking online Christmas sales.

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