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The Christmas Rush
Has it started yet?
andy_boyd




msg:631522
 8:50 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a site which sells giftware, a lot of which is suitable for Christmas gifts. My past figures show that I should have been getting between 5 and 10 sales per day on this site since mid October. This has not materialized at all!

Is anybody else experiencing similar sales?

 

too much information




msg:631523
 9:14 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't expect my rush to start for another week or so. It should get maddening in about two weeks. That's ok, I don't sleep anyway.

We just got a mention in the local paper, (comes out Sunday) so that should really help. If we'd have played that right we could have had the entire page focus on us, but we'll just have to call that a learning experience.

DylanW




msg:631524
 10:15 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

We sell something that does well as a Christmas gift. During the last month or so, I've noticed that our visits have gone up from an average of about 700/day to anywhere from 800-1200/day. Sales are up only slightly meaning our conversion is down a bit, which suggests to me that maybe a lot of the traffic is people browsing for gift ideas, but not yet ready to purchase. I don't know that for a fact, but I haven't noticed anything in particular that would cause hits to go up that much.

chicagohh




msg:631525
 10:31 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

We have noticed a *slight* increase, but we don't expect to see the big increase until the 3rd week of November.

BlueSky




msg:631526
 10:43 pm on Nov 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

If your customers come from the US, people here usually don't get into full swing Christmas shopping mode until the day after Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in Nov) which this year comes late again. From that day to after Christmas, the stores are packed. I bet their shopping habits on the net are the same way. The closer it gets to Thanksgiving the more people will realize Christmas is very close behind and start shopping. The brick and motar stores have had holiday stuff out since the end of October, but only early birds (which are in the minority) are in the mood.

jamieb




msg:631527
 6:11 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

My sales have doubled starting last sunday and have been steady at that rate. So I will have to say it has started - BUT not in full swing. I expect to be about 40% higher yet!

Good luck!
JamieB

tigger




msg:631528
 7:12 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had my best month ever last month but so far this months it's quite, hopefully it may start soon as this time last year orders were flying in and both rankings & traffic are better, odd!

grandpa




msg:631529
 8:38 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not even a free sample request today. It didn't help that the site went down this morning, and our no support hosting company lived up to their expectation yet again. Somebody made a sale today, we switched hosting companies.

Miop




msg:631530
 9:27 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Can't work it out myself - I had about 20 orders saturday, 3 sunday, 10 monday, 1 yesterday, and it's been like that for some time. (I used to get around 10 orders a day except at weekends when it would fall).
One other thing I noticed (for UK sites)- most of my recent orders have been from America, with hardly any orders from the UK at all (I am based in the UK). Perhaps it's the recent 0.25% interest rate hike working. :)

Essex_boy




msg:631531
 2:41 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Miop, doubtful its the interest rate hike - if it is and people are that panicked god help us all.

Ive seen on this board that a large search engine has just changed their way of producing results - US sites hosted in the USA are higher ranked.

Is that part of the problem?

Or are you just unlucky?

tigger




msg:631532
 5:10 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Perhaps it's the recent 0.25% interest rate hike working

and the possibility of further increase this could be a quite Xmas

andy_boyd




msg:631533
 5:26 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Figures published by the (UK) government claim to show strong high street sales but these are not a true reflection of the current atmosphere, certainly not the online one anyway.

I personally know that business is slow in traditional 'bricks and mortar' stores in the UK, people just aren't shopping. I say shopping because it seems the average person ahsn't realized yet that we are in winter and Christmas is coming soon. The weather has been unusually warm which seems to make people think that it is earlier than it really is. The interest rise and the prospective rise soon, coupled with the rumoured tax rises in next year's budget will not help especially with higher margin products.

Unemployment is on the up and the economy is going down, or so it would seem if you listen to the analysts. It could get rocky, but then again this might just be one of those years where people decide 'en masse' to leave their Christmas gift shopping until the last moment. If that happens then we can be sure that they won'y buy online as they can't get it on time.

Luckily the US market seems to be getting better.

ish




msg:631534
 9:38 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Based on my data from last year, the week commencing Monday 24th Nov is when I forecast the main Xmas spike to start, peaking around the 15th December.

Until w/c 24th Nov it should be a slow but steady increase.

Essex_boy




msg:631535
 9:55 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yep the rush is here or at least it is with my main supplier. He feeds the big chain stores in the UK and is flat out which is a touch odd at this time of year.

Normally the main rush is over by now...

which means I have a lead time of gulp 2 weeks minimum for stock

your_store




msg:631536
 10:53 pm on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

we don't expect to see the big increase until the 3rd week of November.

I tend to agree w/ this statement. Our first huge day is usually the day before Thanksgiving.

a lot of the traffic is people browsing for gift ideas, but not yet ready to purchase

We are seeing the same. Now hopefully they'll be able to find us the second go around.

I just read that both JCP and Macy's released higher than expected results today. Many analysts are predicting the strongest Holiday shopping season since '99, at least here in the States. I'm just hoping their right this time ;)

lloyd




msg:631537
 4:30 pm on Nov 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've had a huge increase in traffic over both my sites but the sales are barely up on one and well down on the other.

Like Andy_Boyd our giftware site is the one down at the moment. Unless there has been a dramatic change in online shopping the peak will end on the last w/e of Nov and then slow down.

I am just hoping that the trend has changed and we get a really strong rush in the first two weeks of Dec. Being based in the UK, like others in this post, getting alot of US orders.

Not sure if the weather and the postal service may be effecting the ecommerce here. The fear of not getting delieveries in time.

Essex_boy




msg:631538
 1:46 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well my site went mental last week taking around 30 - 40 orders per day, its dropped right back now to 3 a day.

weird.

I think that people look at online buyingas a last resort.

uksports




msg:631539
 3:35 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thank heavens it's not just me!

I'm up something like 300% for the year - until now.

Looking at the last two years stats, it's the next 3 weeks that are the real biggies, but I'm already down on last November up to today, and today is no better - so it looks like November is toast unless the next week is huge (like about 1000% up!)

I can confirm andy_boyd's view on bricks and mortar sales as our shop us dead as well, and commissions are down via our shopping mall sites as well, so I would guess that means that pretty much all of the UK web retailers are in the same boat.

Think I will be putting up big notices saying that we are shipping all the way up to 22nd December and hang it tight!

Rugles




msg:631540
 4:18 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

The shopping season is just starting now as far as I can tell. Going on past experience, the peak will be the last week of November and the first week of December.

Essex_boy




msg:631541
 5:39 pm on Nov 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Rugles, I hope your right mate, ive just spent a fortune on packing materials only to see a massive drop in sales....Cheap boxes anyone?

Anyway with that in mind ive order shed loads of gear, I know most my suppliers are out stock. Really annoying to find 3 lines that sell very well only to have to refund the money.

hannamyluv




msg:631542
 1:39 am on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our xmas sales go up, but you know, when we see the real increase is in Jan. It's like people get a computer for xmas and then HAVE to shop with it after that.

KevinC




msg:631543
 9:47 pm on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

My sales as off this monday are definatly showing a spike compared to the begining of the month or October. Wierd though I did about double the sales in Sept. then I am projecting for this month.

More and more people choosing xmas gift wrapping, wich is a good sign, but this month is slower overall then I would have expected. Either way xmas is always busy and a fun time to be in business.

Essex_boy




msg:631544
 9:55 pm on Nov 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

A fun time to be in business.... You nuts?

Mate last week were very very busy I did 16 hour days for about 7 days, im shattered thank god its slowed down.

KevinC




msg:631545
 5:52 am on Nov 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

well Essex_boy I can sure think of worse problems to have then being busy with orders. I'm lucky I get my products dropped shipped, so I get off without having to pack and ship orders.

aaronjf




msg:631546
 6:04 am on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

The company I work for actually noticed an increase in purchases from our Christmas related site halfway through the third week of October. It was a bit of a surprise for us, but not tottally.

I do have to point out through that the products are not for the normal consumer. They are supplies for the Santas and Elves of the world. So the drive for that site starts a little early than standard consumer sites.

rise2it




msg:631547
 6:34 am on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

In the eastern US, we've been in the middle of a heatwave for weeks. (It was 70 degrees at Kickoff in Buffalo yesterday!)

Hence, no one is in the Xmas shopping mood yet.

Today was the first normal day.

After we suck down some turkey, and the weather turns bitter cold, the mood will change.

andy_boyd




msg:631548
 3:48 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know about everyone else but I think that the unusually warm weather is really taking it's effect on sales. I was in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday and yeah there were a lot of people walking round, *but* the bags were few and far between. People were buying cheap clothes to go out in that night but I didn't see any kind of rush, when it is usually super busy by now.

In some of the recent industry magazines the multi's have even been saying how difficult it has been recently. Basically they are blaming the unseasonable warmth which makes people think less about Christmas, and hence they don't feel the need to buy. For example, one very well established UK department store has had to put on 2 special 1 day 20% sales inside the last 2 months just to get the revenue flowing, and even then they are way down year on year.

It's all in the mind.

davidpbrown




msg:631549
 3:55 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

From the BBC

Early reports suggest that many consumers are not leaving their Christmas shopping until the last minute..

Bumper Christmas for online shops [news.bbc.co.uk]

uksports




msg:631550
 7:21 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

Talking to wholesalers today (clothing) - all are saying how slow things are, with one large clearance guy saying how many high street chains etc are already contacting him looking to dump stock due to November being so quiet - good in that we are not alone, but bad that the high street doesn't appear to expect to catch up between now and Xmas

panic




msg:631551
 8:32 pm on Nov 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

We're starting to see clicks go up rather high, though conversions are staying about the same. I'm guessing conversions will start to increase after Thursday :)

-p

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