Online sales figures up over Christmas period

Online sales figures increased 17.8 per cent in December, according to a report released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Online sales figures increased 17.8 per cent in December, according to a report released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Marketingweek.co.uk said that overall sales for December were up just 0.3 per cent on 2011. If online sales are not taken into account, sales figures over the Christmas period actually retracted.

Surprisingly, online sales figures peaked during the first week of December as shoppers prepared early for the upcoming festive period.

Thedrum.com reported that new purchasing habits are beginning to emerge such as ‘showrooming’, which sees customers window shopping on the high street and purchasing online. The figures suggest that an online merchant account is essential for retailers to thrive. A strong digital presence as well as secure online payment systems are also of paramount importance. Director of the BRC, Helen Dickinson told Marketing Week that ‘retailers must maintain a clear and consistent marketing message to succeed in 2013’.

Managing Director of Rakuten Linkshare, spoke to the thedrum.co.uk, saying: “As shopping on the internet becomes increasingly popular, retailers need to invest in technology which enables them to target, potential customers with the right content, on the right device, at the right time.”

While online figures may suggest signs of economic recovery, experts warn that the overall figures are not a cause for celebration. Despite marginal growth, there is very little movement compared to 2011.

“The level of growth is effectively flat,” Dickinson said.

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