The clocks went back last weekend and along with the end of the month payday, it signals the start of the Christmas retail run in.

It’s a period that can test the nerve of the strongest retailers and with consumer spending remaining unpredictable, with  rising inflation and an interest rate rise seemingly imminent, the squeeze on disposable incomes continues.

So the coming 10 weeks will be a tough test but success won’t be a fluke. Retail is detail and meticulous planning is needed from a long way out in order to be successful over Christmas.

For the world of ecommerce, the peak sales period has been condensed into an even more finite period, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday now only 20 days away. There is a bit of myth that ecommerce is easier and cheaper than retail but this is just not the case. It is a brutal environment, fast moving, with an ever-changing landscape of competitors who can set up shop with no notice and come out of nowhere. It means that only the strongest survive. But it can also learn a lot from its traditional ‘offline’ cousin: you need to plan, commit, learn and evolve to succeed.

I see many online businesses and while I maintain that every business can be digitised, it is those that take the long-game approach that are able to create a sustainable proposition. Strength online comes from developing your marketing channels over the course of the year, building a base from several sources of traffic such as SEO, PPC Advertising and social advertising that will crest over the coming 6 weeks. It is these e-tailers who can sit back in some comfort and then watch the game play out over the cyber weekend madness. For those of us who are keen observers of ecommerce it is going to be an interesting spectator sport.

Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder – Apex Ecommerce

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