Bricks and Mortars Retailers Turning to Online Sales to Save their Business
Posted under Online Economy > Ecommerce

A quarter of all electrical goods sold over Christmas were bought online, according to Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG). IMRG also said that online now accounts for 10% of total retail sales in the UK, compared to just 0.5% in 2000.

"From talking to our members, my guess is consumers will have spent 3.7bn (€5.55bn) online just in December ... This has definitely been an online Christmas. We think 25 million people are now shopping online and the spike that we see at Christmas is huge. Everything combines to push people to internet shopping over the period - bad weather, bulk buying, the inconvenience of transport ...", James Roper, chief executive for IMRG

Wrapped gifts was another category of massive growth this year, up 150 percent year-on-year. On commodity products that have little differentiation, shoppers search for best prices using price comparison engines like Enclick best price search.

Statistics released by online shoppers are impressive:

  1. John Lewis saw its online sales soar 60% in December
  2. Online sales at Tesco soared by more than 30%
  3. 1.3 million shoppers ordered groceries and Christmas gifts through Tesco.com
  4. Tesco Wine Club delivered 80,000 orders in time for Christmas, up 50% since last year
  5. Amazon, the number one etailer in the UK, sold 4 million orders on its busiest day, December 11.
  6. Next Directory's sales (50% of which are estimated to be online) rose by 9.3

Offline, high-street sales are loosing market share. HMV and Woolworths both issued profit warnings at the beginning of December, and Mr Ratner of the Retail Consortium, said their Christmas trading updates were likely to be bad. Next's retail division, saw underlying sales in the 308 stores slump by 6.9 per cent from 31 July to 24 December.

The solution is online; Marks & Spencers is making a concerted effort to increase its online sales. Stuart Rose, M&S's chief executive, wants to increase internet sales from 100m to 500m by overhauling its website.

Marks & Spencers datafeed has improved in quantity and quality recently, as it distributes its products among shopping portals. Retailers are embracing internet shopping portals as distribution partners. For the high-street retailers, the Enclick shopping compares prices on the following number of products:

  • Woolworths: 273,000 products
  • John Lewis: 19,000 products
  • Marks & Spencers 9300 products
  • Littlewoods: 10,500 products

The enclick data feed marketing team is in high demand, helping retailers market their inventories online.

Many bricks and mortars high-street retailers are all turning to Online Sales to save their businesses. Who would have said ?

[Disclosure: we are invested in Enclick Ltd]

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