One of the biggest lessons learnt this Christmas was that retailers’ fulfilment models need to be better prepared to offer delivery as close to the big day as possible to cater for the last-minute shopping frenzy.

That’s according to Andy Harding, House of Fraser’s executive director of multichannel, speaking at Retail Week’s Etail Power List webinar, run in association with PayPal and Trust Pilot.

“Offering the ability to get products to customers later and later in the month, closer to Christmas is a big lesson learned. The more you can do that, the more advantageous that is,” Harding said.

In the last week of December retailers faced a nail-biting Christmas as festive trading went right to the wire with a last-minute surge of shoppers.

“It was a shock to many people that Christmas started as late as it did last year,” said panellist Mike Davies, sales director UK and Ireland at PayPal.

“There’s a change in consumer expectation in the online space about the delivery and knowing you can wait a little bit longer without worrying you can’t get it before Christmas. I expect to see more of that going forward,” Davies added.

On the webinar panel Harding and Davies were joined by Martin Newman, chief executive of strategic multichannel consultancy Practicology, to discuss whether 2013 truly was the first mobile Christmas when sales on smartphones and tablets were expected to overtake sales on desktops, as predicted by a host of leading names in ecommerce.

Other questions addressed by the panel in the webinar included:

  • Whether click-and-collect was a key factor in the success of mobile sales at Christmas?
  • What can retailers who are behind the mobile curve do to progress?
  • The reasons for peak Christmas trading coming late?
  • The future of mobile payments and what’s next for the m-commerce channel?

Watch the webinar

You can watch the Retail Week Etail Webinar on demand here. It’s free to view, you just need to register.