Online merchants should plan now to ensure they can cope with high volumes of traffic and maximise sales during the busy Christmas shopping period this year, warned e-commerce specialist ATG last week. Industry body the Interactive Media in Retail Group estimates that online retail sales in the UK will be worth Â£30bn this year. Meanwhile new research published last week by online shopping reward portal MutualPoints found that over 30 percent of UK shoppers plan to spend more online this year, and many of them will reduce spending on the high street accordingly.
Ian Davis, director of product strategy at ATG, said firms risk lost sales and dissatisfied customers if their sites cannot cope with peaks in traffic, and if back offices operations cannot scale up efficiently. "The supply chain area has changed a lot since the dot-com boom, when order fulfillment was not an issue," Davis argued. "It is now a big problem and an expensive one which is exacerbated at peak times like Christmas. A good merchant knows its inventory, stock and customers and marries [this knowledge] together. "