This Holiday Season, Santa Came to the UK Online

According to a recent BBC online News article, online sales in the UK were up 50% this holiday season. The boost has meant that 10%of every purchasing GPB spent came from purchases on the Web. Next, a High Street retailer that made an effort to boost online sales this year, saw Internet sales rise 15.3% while store sales fell 7.5% for 2006.

But some companies weren’t ready for the drastic jump in Internet sales, with businesses like Music Zone issuing warnings to their brick-and-mortar stores to find new ways to compete with the online onslaught. Department store giant Marks and Spencer committed to reinvent the way that they use the Web for marketing over the next two years in response to this season’s strong online results.

In the UK, studies have shown that 50% of all shoppers regularly buy online, with people aged 45-55 leading the Internet charge. At the same time, almost one in five retailers “do not believe the internet is an important channel to market,” indicating a major gap between what retailers think is happening and what statistics are proving.

The same can be said for all major markets, but it is fair to say that retailers who aren’t taking advantage of the new Internet marketing revolution may not be around for too many more holiday seasons.

Kristjan Mar Hauksson

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