Snow makes predicting Q4 ecommerce trends trickier than usual

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Predicting what Christmas shopping would look like online used to be an easy task. It would be bigger than last year, November would be huge, it would start to fall off in December but hopefully not too much before the 15th of December.

But this year, there is the spectre of snow again on the horizon and that represents huge uncertainty. But what are the pundits saying?

The IMRG has says they expect a 14% year on year growth in online retail in December on top of the strong 25% growth in 2010. The IMRG also anticipates that the fear of snow will mean more shopping earlier to avoid delivery problems and also to spread the cost of Christmas in these austere times. According to IMRG, the busiest weeks for online shopping will be the weeks beginning 28th November and 5th December.

eBay have thrown their hat into the ring with some predictions too. They claim that 4th December will be “Super Sunday” this year and the busiest day of the year. They estimate that 5.8m shoppers will log on to that day, half a million more than last year.

Selling activity will peak at approximately 30 gifts per second, with a doubling of buyers using smartphone to purchase their goodies. The most popular categories for online Christmas shoppers will be mobile phones and accessories, fashion and homewares.

I think it all hangs on the weather and the auspices seem to be uneasy on that front. If we see very snowy conditions across the UK in November and December, and worse than last year, then that will be bad news. But fear not: I’ll keep consulting the seaweed and pine cone I have here at the Tamebay weather centre and let you know about developments.

16 Responses

  1. We are in a weather pattern called a Maunder Minimum. What this means is that year on year the winters will be longer and colder finally culminating in very severe winters. The last Maunder Minimum ended up with the “Mini Ice Age” whan the River Thames froze over and they were able to drive carriages down the Thames on the ice and there were “Frost Fairs” held on the frozen Thames.

    For some 4.5 Billion years the dominant factor in the Earths Climate was the Sum. If the Sun produced less heat(as it is doing at the ptresent) then the temperature of the Earth reduced.

    A few years ago we had pseudo Scientists telling us that “Global Warming” was caused by Mans influences(such as smokey power stations and 4 x 4 motor vehicles) was dominant and that the Sun and the other factors that had been dominant for 4.5 Billions year were no longer dominant. In fact I have heard Global Warming Enthusiasts state that the Sun has no part to play in our Climate.

    Well the Sun is proving that no matter how many smokey power stations we have it is still the Sun that is in charge.

    Winter 2011/12 will be longer and colder than Winter 2010/11. Winter 2012/13 will be colder still and so it will continue until about Winter 2030/31 or so(obviously that far ahead I am only speculating-it could be yet later) then we could very well get once again to the “Mini Ice Age” type Winters.

    Luckily Winter 2030/31 I am confident that I will not still be around.

    What we need is for the systems to be in place to allow the delivery systems(Post Office, Couriers etc) to be able to deliver no matter what. After Winter 2010/11 I called for the Post Office and Couriers to learn from their colleagues in such as Sweden and Canada. However I would guess that they have done nothing. Probably they contacted the Global Warming enthusiasts who told them that Winter 2010/11 was a freak and a once in a 100 years occurence. So the Post Office and Couriers did nothing. But what that means is that all the lessons that should have been learnt from Winter 2010/11 have been forgotten and not acted upon.

    So expect December to be chaos again.

    If ebay is correct and the peak selling will be earlier than usual then we may just get away with it(hopefully the worst of the weather will start later in December). But if the peak is not until later in December( we all know how many seem to buy just before the Post Offices “Last Posting Dates” then it could be total chaos with a large number of deliveries not being received until after Christmas.

    The Global Warming enthusiasts are still producing figures that show that year on year the climate is still getting hotter(even though there has been no increase in temperatures since the late 1990’s) indeed there are very real signs that the climate is now cooling generally.

    Carbon Dioxide levels are still rising but they do not seem to have the effects that were being stated a decade ago. The wilder Global Warming Pronouncements of only a decade ago are now seen to be laughable. In Cornwall we used to regularly get such statements as “By 2040 Cornwall will enjoy a climate the same as the Sahara Desert now” – Total and utter bonkers – It was never going to happen. I saw a pronouncement recently “Than man has been affecting the climate for 8,000 years”.

    8,000 years ago. There were relatively few humans. Farming was starting. The first settlements but many were still hunter gatherers. The total world population of humans was at the most optimistic a few million. The chances are that a Volcano Eruption or even a Forest Fire caused by a Lightening Strike during a Thunder Storm would have a greater impact on the Worlds Climate than the total World Polulation of Humans.

    We need to take our Winters seriously because they are going to get much much colder.

  2. Xmas has been my worst month year on year for the last 3 years. Hence ill be closed for most of it.

  3. Im lookin 4 ward to a warm winter – got my shorts ready, need to top my tan up too…. sorry just woke up lol

  4. As soon as we get serious snow I’ll be doing the same as I did last year and shutting up shop.
    My sanity was worth more to me than the £. I am guessing there will be more sellers feeling the same way if the country grinds to a halt like it did last year.

  5. Are eBay and their inflexibility that they have time after time shown around their feedback system at fault for the weather anxiety expressed here?

    A bit of weather and an entire business is put at risk. That is a perception that many eBay sellers have.

    What can eBay do to change this perception?

  6. “The most popular categories for online Christmas shoppers will be mobile phones and accessories, fashion and homewares”

    Perhaps Home and Garden sellers will actually get some advertising done for them this year as opposed to a 20 second shot of a yellow shoe year after year, or more than likely they will go with fashion and electronics as usual !

  7. I need it to snow as we have hundreds of snow shovels to clear after we ordered slightly over-enthusiastically last year!



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