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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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.