It’s inevitable – even in a year filled with as much uncertainty and, in many ways, misery as 2020 has, Christmas will always come and with it, the opportunity for celebration. For businesses, it’s a time when many of us see increased sales and revenue, with products or even services gifted to people during the festive season. We often see a huge spike in online shopping at Christmas – and we dare say that will be even further exaggerated this year, with bricks-and-mortar shops still forcibly closed.
Even in a “normal” year, we see a boom in online shopping at Christmas, and according to the Centre for Retail Research, more than £25 billion was spent online in the UK last Christmas, more than 10% up on the previous year. This demonstrates just how normal online shopping is at this time of year, and the vast majority of UK consumers would have bought at least one item online this year regardless of current coronavirus restrictions.
To meet the Golden Quarter expectations this year, your business will have to embrace eCommerce in some form or another – whether that be a delivery service or a click-and-collect feature, you’ll have to be able to meet the demand for online shopping at Christmas.
Delivery services have the advantage of not requiring the customer to leave their house at all, meaning that your market is as wide as possible. Some customers may be shielding and some may be more worried about leaving the house than others, especially if they are likely to have to use public transport to get to your store. It’s also possible that you could make more small margins on delivery costs, which may help your business during these times. However, there are costs associated with delivery services, which include extra packaging, fuel and personnel, as well as the risk of damage in transit and delivery to wrong addresses due to human error.
With a click-and-collect service, customers travel to the store to collect items which have already been reserved and paid for. This service has been common for a number of years at large supermarkets and department stores but had not been maximised by smaller enterprises until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The advantages of this are that your responsibility for the product ends when that product leaves the store, and you can ensure it gets to the right person. Returns are more easily dealt with as they often take place in person, rather than via telephone or email and the post. On the other hand, it requires users to leave their homes and you will have to open your physical location for collection, which may have associated utility costs as well as staffing needs.
Ultimately it’s crucial to consider your target audience when choosing how your products will reach your customers. Delivering your products in the most accessible way will ensure that your business gets its slice of the pie while people conduct all their online shopping at Christmas.
To build or modify your website to prepare for online shopping and click-and-collect this Christmas, talk to the expert developers at AsOne now.