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E-Commerce During the Holidays

by Korain Go

Even if e-commerce is not yet experiencing a crisis, it must nevertheless evolve to take into account the general context of a crisis. While more and more consumers are shopping on the net, it is not out of the question to see this downward trend during New Year’s Day or any other holiday due to the impact of the crisis. What is the current profile of the Internet user in terms of consumption behavior and what are the future trends for holidays? 

Motivations and reasons for cyber purchases  

Today, smartphones, tablets and PCs have become tools that facilitate access to the internet in all circumstances, thus increasing the percentage of online purchases. If consumers turn to the web, it is mainly for reasons of practicality, choice and price. Indeed, people who no longer have time to stroll around the shops, prefer to buy their gifts outside the typical crowds of the holidays. The net is a showcase offering them a greater choice that they can access without the spatial restrictions and at prices often defying any competition.  

The web is also more extensive, so it is possible to order your purchases on international websites with just a few clicks. Basically, without moving from home, you will be able to do your own comparative study, plan and make your purchases according to your needs, your budget and the conditions that best suit you. 

Holiday Shopping Trends and Forecasts  

Net purchasing intentions for the year-end period are slightly down according to the purchase forecasts and the preparation of holidays by Internet users. Even if consumers plan to spend less on the web, they say they are optimistic and all targets are concerned. Seniors appear in first place among online shoppers with however a difference in the amounts invested by age groups, those over 65 will apparently be the ones who invest the least. 

The products most bought on the net this year during holidays will undoubtedly be books, all themes combined. The book has thus taken the lead on video in the market of cultural products in recent years. Next on the list are DVDs, games, high-tech products, clothing, cosmetics and other home products and sports items.  

Thus, even if e-commerce is not yet tragically affected by the impact of the crisis, it is important to remain vigilant and to detect fluctuations in sales in order to find the economic and other reasons and to rectify the situation, so as to always be in line with market demand.  

Holiday preparation rhymes with anticipation  

Holiday periods are prepared months in advance. The end of the year is too critical a phase and the stakes are too high to allow things to happen at the very last minute.  

Sellers, traders, suppliers and designers are scrambling to gain their market share and build up the necessary stocks. The traffic of purchases at this period is such that the majority of the efforts and resources of the biggest companies are focused on it. Logistics, infrastructure, operating cycle and development strategy are optimized for the sole purpose of coping with the holiday’s peak and building capacity. Schedules and structures of the teams are arranged for the storage of the products and the setting up of the supplies. Holidays are also an opportunity to launch products, improve some and optimize others. 

E-merchants: considerable expectations  

Most e-merchants make the largest share of their turnover during the Christmas period. So they make sure that the efforts they invest are up to the expected benefits, and sometimes they struggle to do that. The slight improvement in the economic climate makes merchants more optimistic about the psychological approach of consumers. In this way, merchants deploy all their ingenuity to convince consumers to tighten their belts so that they can afford to place their orders.  

E-merchants do not, however, encourage Internet users to make their purchases in advance to ensure that their stocks are always replenished. As traffic is still expected to accelerate in the final stretch just before the holidays, Internet users are buying late in the year. Upstream periods are generally devoted to identification and comparison. Depending on the sector, traffic is often expected to double or even multiply for the last weekend before the holidays, e-merchants have every interest in anticipating and protecting themselves for this explosion of activity. 

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