Originally featured on Salmon.com
I’ll start by saying that as a Londoner I’m predisposed to be a little bit grumpy (an inevitability for anyone faced with the Central Line at rush hour) - Like many others, my expectations for shopping online have rocketed in the past few years and at least once a month I can be seen having a rant on Twitter about a disappointing experience. We all know what makes for a frustrating customer experience - getting to the last page of the checkout before being informed that item is out of stock, being charged £8 for a next day delivery or finding out that dress you bought last week is now less than half price in the sale.
As we say goodbye to - what was by all accounts - a turbulent year for the UK retail landscape (not to mention political), we’re taking a moment to look at the top stories to emerge from Christmas Peak 2017, and what they can tell us about the year ahead.
As the industry moves into peak season, it feels rather like the calm before the storm. In an attempt to smooth out the extreme peaks which characterise UK Christmas season, many retailers are starting sales earlier than ever. Whilst there’s a lot of controversy about opting in or out of Black Friday, it has undoubtedly come to represent the catalyst for peak.
It’s important to start by clarifying that typically in the marketplace model, 3rd party sellers control their prices. The marketplace operator takes a commission on the sale, but doesn’t control the price.
However, today one of the largest Marketplace operators decided to wield their power and control 3rd party seller product prices. The Wall Street Journal covered Amazon’s decision to discount third party products ahead of the 2017 holiday season.