Cyber Monday – attack of the online shoppers

28 Nov 2011

Tech-savvy shoppers are online today to do their Christmas shopping, getting in before the seasonal purchasing flurry

Forget Black Friday, it’s Cyber Monday and there could be around 7m online shoppers tapping away on the internet today in Europe, eager to scoop up goods and get the best deals before the Christmas rush.

Why is today set to be the biggest day for Christmas online shopping? Visa Europe is predicting that 5,000 online transactions will be recorded across the EU every minute today – earmarking today as this year’s busiest day for online Christmas shopping. The study has highlighted the combination of pay days and the rush to shop early. Visa is predicting 7m transactions will be completed across the EU by midnight, with your average shopper spending more than €150.

Pricing intelligence company Profitero is reacting to the analysis and says it’s a worrying time for retailers who aren’t trading their products and services online, as they will lose out, especially today.

The Irish-based company says the need for Irish retailers to merge their store-based business with an online presence has never been more pressing than now.

And as town centres of Ireland lose more retailers to the downturn in the economy, retailers ignoring such warnings about the need to have a strong online presence are in danger of going out of business, warned Profitero CEO Vol Pigrukh, speaking to today.

Profitero CEO Vol Pigrukh

Profitero CEO Vol Pigrukh

“If you look at recent retail figures, one of the key areas that continues to keep growing is the online area. With Christmas fast approaching, consumers are using the internet more than ever to hunt for bargains. If retailers are to grow sales during this crucial period, they need to adapt quickly by aligning their online and bricks-and-mortar operations,” said Pigrukh.
As well as the internet providing a new avenue to attract customers, retailers moving to a multichannel structure have the added advantage of being able to monitor their competitors’ prices online, and react quickly to changes in these pricing strategies, he said.

Price benchmarking

Such competitor pricing intelligence can include pricing, shipping charges and out-of-stock information.

Retailers can then benchmark their prices against those of their competitors.

“Not only does this online competitor information reduce the manual effort involved in collecting and assessing competitor data, retailers can move quickly to increase sales and profit margins,” said Pigrukh.

He said that with more and more retailers recognising that they need to take the online plunge and set up online stores, it would also be useful to use online price collection services so they can react to the markets, not just in Ireland, but globally, and align their pricing strategies.

He said such a service would also replace the need for in-store price checks, which are done by offline retailers.

Dublin-based Profitero provides product and price intelligence data. For such a young company, it has been making global strides and recently won the IBM SmartCamp in London, up against four other Irish and UK-based start-ups.
Profitero currently monitors 27.5m products across 2,500 retail websites and hopes the company hopes to grow this number to 100m by June 2012.

Some of its high-profile customers include market research group Nielsen and retailers such as Tesco Direct and Worten. The company is focusing on the European retail market, with plans to expand into the US soon.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic