UK retailers are just in the process of releasing their Christmas 2013 and 2013 overall turnover figures. Despite the tumultuous economy currently present in the UK, some of the major UK retailers are celebrating huge success and growth for their online sales. As high street sales have been insignificant for many retailers over Christmas 2013, some falling lower than last year, it has become very clear that in order to survive in a struggling economy retailers must also embrace ecommerce.
The UK online sales figures for Christmas 2013
- House of Fraser: Online sales up nearly 58% for the 3 weeks up to 28th December, compared to 2012
- John Lewis: Online sales figures increased by 22% over the Christmas period; and Christmas eve orders were up 13% on 2012
- Debenhams: Online sales were up 27% for their 17 week period running up to Christmas
Preparation for successful online trading in 2014
With the New Year upon them, retailers will be reviewing all their resources and also planning marketing spend up until Christmas 2014. Many retailers will have also started sourcing products for Christmas 2014. It makes sense then, that logistics reviews will also be taking place for those retailers that don’t currently have a large online offering but want to grow as much as their competitors have done during the next festive period.
Now is also the time for the logistics and warehousing industry to speak out about the benefits of their services and software. Solid marketing campaigns should be set in order to win the business that is inevitably going to be up for grabs, now that online shopping has been proven as a vital resource of income for retailers in order to stay buoyant.
What the retailers will be looking for from logistics and warehousing companies
Major retailers with a national presence on the high street are likely to have a head office and procurement team with a list of requirements, ready to source a warehousing, software licence or picking and packing service with a list from upper management about what’s required. They’ll be looking for best warehousing and distribution services in the UK . In order to win large contracts, logistics providers will need to be flexible in their offerings and most importantly visible. Costs are likely to be a key part and being able to handle a large volume throughout the year. Having a specific contact for new enquiries, perhaps contracting in a business development manager could work wonders for new business sales.
When smaller businesses are sourcing new ways to manage their online sales, they’ll also be looking at costs, but won’t have the large volumes to justify prices. Warehousing and pick and pack services need to remain affordable and will also need to be prepared to support enquiries from potential customers that have no idea where to start. 2014 looks to be a good year so far for the industry, so long as the suppliers make the most of the trends and build up their resources to encourage and manage new enquiries.
Bio – DMG Freight Services, based in Harlow Essex (UK), are logistics professionals providing warehousing, freight forwarding, pick and pack and pallet storage for companies looking to outsource their supply chain management. Call 01279 452 468 (UK) for a free quote or visit www.dmg-freight.com