Christmas is the most important retail period of the year in most European countries. These days, people are purchasing gifts ever earlier, from Black Friday/Cyber Weekend in late November and throughout December. Truck drivers will be wondering what gifts they are transporting for Christmas. What Christmas gifts are the most likely to be loaded onto their trailers?
Favourite Christmas gift categories
Research commissioned by Vouchercodes.co.uk into UK consumers’ top 10 Cyber Weekend shopping list items gives us a good idea of favourite Christmas gift choices.
Clothing, footwear, and accessories were the most popular category selected by 24% of respondents, followed closely by personal electronics including smartphones and tablets and home electronics including TVs and speakers (with both categories chosen by 23%). 16% opted for DVDs, computer games and books whilst 15% wanted to buy toys.
Our top 5 trailer fillers
We like to predict the top 5 trailer filler gifts. On the theme of clothing and footwear, fashionable trainers from brands such as New Balance or Nike will be in demand. Popular fashion accessories this year include “belt bags” formerly known as “bum bags”. (source: Guardian) Children and adults alike will be delighted with Lego sets such as the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Train toy or the more adult-oriented Lego replicas of architectural masterpieces including the Taj Mahal and London’s Big Ben. For those wanting a more sports-related gift, an electric bike could be just what they need. (source: Wiggle.com) People of all ages will enjoy a games console be that a PS4 Pro, Xbox One X or a Nintendo Switch. (source: Techadvisor.co.uk)
Christmas starts earlier
According to a Deloitte survey, 30% of European internet users planned to make Christmas-related gift purchases in November or earlier. That said, a majority of Christmas gifts will still be bought in December. (source:EMarketer)
However, there are regional differences in Christmas purchasing behaviour. Consumers in countries such as the Netherlands and Germany like to start buying gifts from November onwards (67% and 30% respectively) whereas consumers in other countries like to purchase at the last minute. 73% of French and 70% of Italian consumers buy in December. (source: CRR/RetailMeNot)
Christmas consumer spending
The forecasts for consumer spending over Christmas look promising for the transport industry.
In early November, Germany’s HDE retail association said that it expected Christmas sales to grow by 2% this year, reaching a record-breaking 100 billion euros. (source: Reuters)
Forecasts for the Christmas retail season are similarly bullish for France. A survey by the Centre for Retail Research(CRR)forRetailMeNot France forecast that the French will be spending 69 billion euros at Christmas.
The picture for UK retail over Christmas is more mixed, summed up by a Retail Gazette article headlined “Retailers face “nerve-wracking run-up to Christmas”. According to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, online sales in November were at an all-time high accounting for 33.8% of the November sales total up to November 24 (a 1.2% increase on the same period in 2017) but total sales fell flat.
European e-commerce market still growing
Analysts at Statista expect the European e-commerce market to grow annually from 2018 to 2023 at a compounded rate of 6.9%, resulting in a market volume of €424,705.65m by 2023. They forecast that the European e-commerce market will total €304,250.47m in 2018.
Statista finds that “fashion” is the European e-commerce market’s largest segment and likely to total €89,851.99m in value in 2018. (source: Statista)
E-commerce and trailers – the opportunity
A growth in e-commerce in the Christmas period is an opportunity for road transport fleets to make more deliveries. However, this opportunity must be carefully managed. With cargo volumes difficult to predict during the festive season, you don’t want to end up having too little or too much trailer capacity to meet customer demand. Ideally, you want to enjoy flexible access to trailers to benefit from exceptional demand, but not be left with your own trailers sitting empty in the yard when the post-Christmas retail sales have ended.
Trailer rental to meet extra demand
Trailer rental enables fleet managers to handle extra demand during Christmas time or at any other time when demand climbs beyond your current trailer capacity. If you don’t want the financial burden and responsibilities of owning a large fleet of trucks, trailer rental is your answer. With trailer rental, you can bring on additional trailers to fulfil specific contracts and then return them afterward with having to bear their ongoing fleet ownership overheads.
A Christmas gift of flexible trailer rental solutions from TIP Trailer Services?
With its fleet of over 68,000 trailer assets for rent, TIP can equip your fleet for Christmas and throughout the year, with flexible, extra trailer capacity. TIP can also provide further peace of mind with its maintenance and repair programme run from its network of 84 trailer workshops across Europe and its 24/7 pan European roadside assistance service. For more information, please contact us using this form.
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