Online shopping saved retaillers’ Christmas sales

By Dyenamic Solitions - Last updated: Monday, January 7, 2013 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Strong online shopping growth saved retail sales falling over Christmas- according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).Online shopping saves retaillers' Christmas salesSales in December were up only 1.5% compared with a year earlier, while like-for-like sales, which exclude new store openings, rose 0.3%.

Without a 17.8% jump in online non food sales, total sales would have fallen.

“Since the beginning of 2011 we’re really not going anywhere,” said new BRC director general Helen Dickinson.

She added that there was little sign that things would improve in 2013.

“Many retailers have invested a lot in making their websites easier to use across devices and also increasing confidence in their online security… the surging popularity of tablets and smartphones giving even better access is a major factor,” Helen Dickinson said.

“For the more established retailers, it seems that much of the growth is now coming from online orders, while shop sales are stagnant at best.”

However, online retail was still only a small proportion of total sales, accounting for a little over 10%.

Department stores were the clear winners on the High Street over Christmas as they offer a wide range of products under one roof- and they make buying presents both quick and easy.

But most department stores have actually been doing pretty well for a while now, and good online offerings seem to have been the key.

John Lewis has led the way, with the best brand and the best online offer.

Meanwhile Debenhams’ strategy of frequent sales and promotions has been successful at keeping money coming in at a time when the wider High Street has struggled.

House of Fraser has also fared well, catering as it does for the higher-end shopper whose disposable income has not been hit as hard as some during the downturn.

There’s a reason department stores have been around for almost 300 years – many have proved remarkably adept at moving with the times.

They have all also benefited from strong online offerings, particularly John Lewis with its click and collect service.

The success of department stores has a lesson for us all- they demonstrate- and deliver a wide range of easy to buy products- all with competitive prices.

Ecommerce retailers who do not learn from and replicate these processes will lose out and struggle to survive.

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