The golden sales quarter (October – December) for retailers is fast approaching, but many retail businesses are not fully prepared for the accompanying onset of increased website traffic this usually brings, new research reveals.

A survey of 1,325 UK marketing professionals carried out by digital marketing agency,, revealed that almost a third of online retailers (32%) admit their website is not yet ready for the uplift in traffic as we head towards Christmas.

In fact, almost one in five (18%) say that their golden quarter plans have still not been finalised.


Of those retail businesses who are unprepared for the golden quarter, 43% said that they haven’t yet begun load testing their website – meaning that these retailers could potentially see glitches and crashes on their website as it struggles to cope with the increased volume of traffic.

In addition, more than a third (38%) said that imagery and descriptions for new products are not yet ready – meaning they’re unable to load them onto the site.

A further 31% said that neither their SEO or PPC campaigns have yet been planned for the quarter.

Additionally, more than a quarter (27%) said that they don’t yet have their website analytics up and running correctly – potentially meaning that their golden quarter performance will not be measured accurately. managing director, Gareth Hoyle, comments: “Our annual research has found that in 2019 businesses are becoming better prepared for the golden quarter, as this time last year, an incredible 39% on online retailers were unprepared for the run up to Christmas.

“Though our 2019 research still shows that there are many ways that so many retailers are not ready for the busiest quarter of the year for online shopping – (with events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and Boxing Day sales contained in this period) it is essential that online retailers get their websites fully prepared for the increase in traffic, so they can take advantage of this key trading period.”

Hoyle went on to add that the golden quarter is traditionally a time where retailers make the majority of their profit, so a successful pre-Christmas trading period, can quite simply, “make the difference between a company having a bumper year, or losses and uncertainty if sales do not go well”.

Marketingsignals suggests retailers make sure that their websites have good navigation and that the check-out process is made easy to help encourage browsers to make purchases.