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Christmas and the internet generation?

There’s no denying Christmas is coming. All the signs are there; the Coca Cola advert is on TV, red and green decorations fill the shops and the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine is in the air. All the shops are ready for the onslaught of the Christmas rush. The only thing missing is the shoppers.

It’s meant to be the season to be jolly. But retailers fear a grim festive period with many on the high street starting their traditional end of year discounting early in an attempt to attract people into the stores.

For many, part of the tradition of Christmas was heading to the shops to buy gifts. But with faster broadband connections and the ability to find a bargain, e-commerce is expected to rise 14% during the run up to Christmas with an estimated £7.75 billion (£6.8 billion in 2010) being spent online. Manic Monday saw spending reach an average of £300,000 a minute as shoppers searched for festive bargains.

To take advantage of this, many retailers have geared their marketing towards the internet and are offering dazzling deals to make them more attractive to shoppers. For example, John Lewis launched its ‘Long Wait’ advert on Twitter and YouTube two weeks before it hit TV screens, and Sony moved its advertising to online outlets in an overhaul of its UK Christmas marketing plans.

It’s a sign of the times that an online presence is increasingly important. Consumers are becoming more internet savvy in an attempt to find the best deals. In a majority of cases if they can’t find you online, they move on to a company who is.

The retail sector is just one example of how companies can miss out on online opportunities. But it doesn’t matter what sector you operate in, having an online presence – a website, a blog, Twitter, the list goes on – is an important part of communicating with stakeholders. Are you ready or will you be missing out?


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