Whilst high street sales continue to fall and the recession takes a firmer grip on UK shoppers’ spending habits, online sales have hit new highs.
Recent reports from the high street confirmed what forecasters had
been predicting – that there was a 1.4% reduction in pre-Christmas
sales in December 2008 compared to the previous period in December
2009. These figures, according to the British Retail Consortium,
signified the worst Christmas for the British high street in 14 years.
Comparatively, online retailers experienced their best ever
Christmas sales figures – the British Retail Consortium report also
states that online sales grew by 30% compared to the previous year.
These figures are supported by official data produced by the Office
for National Statistics which showed all retail sales decreased by 0.8%
in December compared with the previous year whilst Internet Sales
increased by 19.6% over the same comparative period.
Stats released this week from online analysts comScore revealed
that e-cards, jewellery, luxury goods and accessories saw the greatest
percentage increases in traffic in December 2008 compared to the
These figures just go to confirm what those in the industry have
been telling us for years – that if you’re not already, it’s time to
get your business online. And if you are online, there has never been a
more vital time to start pushing and promoting your site using online
marketing methods such as PPC (Pay per Click) or SEO (search engine
With news this week confirming that the UK is
officially in recession, these figures from the British Retail
Consortium and comScore are even more significant. The buying habits of
British consumers are certainly changing as they become more price and
It’s important to remember that it’s not all about selling online.
Statistics show that only 8% of customers complete their purchases
online, while 92% of shoppers conduct research online but prefer to
complete their purchases and transactions offline. So whether your
website is ecommerce and you are selling directly online, or your
website is simply a tool for generating enquiries, search engine
visibility really is important for businesses, whatever the industry or
whoever the target market.
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