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Biggest challenge to online retailers this holiday season will be …


Research Triangle, N.C. -- Christmas keeps getting earlier with each passing year, but the main challenge for online merchants stays the same.

Nearly 60% of online retailers plan to start their holiday promotions in September or sooner, and 34% of the retailers said fulfilling orders on time is their biggest challenge during the holidays, followed by adjusting to competitor activity (27%) and converting mobile traffic (19%).

Those are some of the key findings of a survey by ChannelAdvisor, a provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions.

“Retailers continue to push holiday sales earlier and earlier to get in front of the competition,” said ChannelAdvisor executive chairman Scot Wingo. “We’ve seen larger retailers kick off their holiday promotions as early as July. It will be interesting to see if consumers respond to early holiday promotions again this year and get out their wallets before Thanksgiving.”

The “2015 Online Retail Survey” revealed several key holiday-related findings, including:

• More than 80% of retailers expect their 2015 holiday sales to increase from 2014.

• Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents are planning to offer more holiday promotions than last year as a strategy to increase their 2015 holiday sales.

• Nearly 75% of retailers said 20% or more of their annual sales come during the holiday season.

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