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Online festive shopping major opportunity for retailers, says Euromonitor

Published:  25 November, 2014

Online shopping will rise globally and within Europe as consumers look for better deals online in the run-up to Christmas, but firms should ensure their sites are easy to navigate, mobile-friendly and have attractive delivery options, says market research firm Euromonitor.

Daphne Kasriel-Alexander, a consumer trends consultant with Euromonitor International, said, as shoppers increasingly opt to buy online companies will need to be mindful of how to make sites easy to navigate as well as offering incentives such as free delivery, in order to capitalise on the opportunity.

It is critical to offer an integrated experience for shoppers and that the online experience is easy for consumers to navigate. "It is likely with consumer interest in online shopping rising globally in a quest for deals and experiences, retailers will have to up their game in terms of delivery and an improved customer experience to keep consumers interested. Brands that offer the best customer journeys with personalised online presence that merges smoothly with the high street stores will appeal to customers," said Kasriel-Alexander.

Further offering a great mobile experience is also essential, particularly in the UK, as almost 20% of online payments were made via a mobile device last year, said Alexander.

"Customers struggling with a bad mobile version of the website for instance will quickly give up trying to browse," said Alexander.

To drive purchases some retailers may offer free delivery if a minimum amount of spend is met or if a case of wine is ordered. Having attractive delivery options for online trading period is important said Alexander.

She said: "Delivery charges have been found in several surveys to be a key reason customers abandon a purchase."

Retailers offering promotional sales days online are becoming increasingly important across the globe.

"As the shopping session gets stretched, with a longer pre-holiday buying window, the pre-Christmas 24-hour buying dates offering deep discounts already huge are becoming bigger still. We see Singles Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday in November and some notable dates in December. These are really catching on," said Alexander.