International Trade

Online retailers starting Christmas promotions this week

2 min read

11 November 2014

With SMEs hoping to see a rise in international orders this year, Christmas promotions are starting earlier. Research shows that for many online retailers, that means starting this week.

Research by Royal Mail shows that some 64 per cent of SMEs expect international orders to increase this year, compared to 51 per cent last year. 

Of course, to fulfil international orders, retailers need more time to ensure the parcels arrive on time, which is why a growing number of online retailers are already starting Christmas promotions this week.

In terms of international business, the United States continues to be the largest market for UK online SME retailers, closely followed by France. 

With retail sales slowing down in the UK – the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium show that while still growing, sales are slowing down this year –  an increasing number of businesses are relying on international markets for their own company growth. One strategy adopted by many businesses, to increase global sales further, has been to start their online promotions early, to attract new customers from other markets.

“Our study of UK’s SME online retailers shows competition for customers will start earlier this year, with price promotions the key tactic for online retailers as well as offering free delivery and returns to their shoppers,” says Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels.

Price promotions to win customer sales this Christmas are being adopted by 57 per cent of online retail SMEs, Royal Mail’s research shows. Price promotions are followed by free delivery (55 per cent) as well as free returns, which will be offered to global shoppers by some 35 per cent of online retailers.