Christmas is just around the corner again, and some online merchants are already prepared for it. Some others have't prepared much at all. With Händlerbund's Christmas Study 2017 Survey, we find out that most merchants can agree on one thing – logistics and delivery are cause for the highest concern.

Christmas Study Frontpage
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Prepared and Optimistic for Holiday Business

It is well known that online merchants are already preparing for Christmas, whilst others are still enjoying their summer holidays. Particularly with regard to logistics and marketing, precautions are being taken at an early stage. During the survey from September to the end of October, 70% of the merchants had already stocked up on their inventory. Only 16% of those surveyed hadn’t already stocked up during the survey period. All things considered, online merchants are going into the high season optimistically. Only every 10th merchant is expecting a drop in sales at Christmas time and the majority (75%) are looking forward to lucrative seasonal business. The proportion of those expecting even better sales than in the previous year rose by 5% this year – up to 50%.

Problems with Delivery Services Cloud Anticipation

Christmas Challenges Seite 5
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When it comes to the question of expected challenges affecting holiday business, delivery problems caused by the overloading of delivery services are, for the first time, the top priority. Whereas last year, one in three people were still worried about the problem, this year it is one in two. The number of those who are starting the high season carefree remains unchanged (17%). As in the previous year, online marketplaces are regarded as the most important sales channels for business at Christmas. Whilst every second surveyed (49%) relies on their own online shop, eBay ranks second (31%) ahead of Amazon (27%) and 15% cite their stationary business as the strongest sales channel.

Advent Sunday: The Strongest Day Of The Year

Christmas Study High Season
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The Advent season starts comparatively late this season, but many traders (30%) expect noticeable increases in Christmas business before December. It will increase until the middle of December, decreasing right up to the 24th. Sunday evening confirms itself as the most profitable day of the year and thus designates December 10, 2017 as, statistically, the most important day of the year in German online retail. All in all, participants in the Händlerbund Christmas Study are well-prepared, but they would like to receive specialist support in matters of shipping (43%), legal security (34%) and marketing (33%).

The Best Sellers of Christmas

Every year, the question of the most popular gift ideas for the most festive time of the year brings curious ideas such as fresh steaks or fancy and festive latex clothing to light. Items from the categories of jewellery, tools or décor, on the other hand, seem to be timeless gifts. Most of those surveyed are small and medium-sized retailers, who mainly specialise in the sale of leisure articles (26%) and textiles/clothing (24%). Following these top categories were home and garden (19%) and household appliances (14%).

The results of the Händlerbund Christmas Study and infographics are available here for free download.