Monday, December 11, 2006

Wow! Gosh! Internet retailing is up

More than 180 million pounds was spent online last Monday, the traditional start of the festive shopping season. This is double the amount of ago year ago.

Predictions of 40% growth seem to have been gazumped. Perhaps the prediction that 25 million people are expected to spend £7bn through the internet - up from £5bn last year and representing £4m every hour, day and night, is too modest.

The driver for the UK where 85 percent of British shoppers preferred clicks to bricks is that they could avoid the "too stressful" high street.

But new research by KPMG and the SPSL Retail Think Tank (RTT) says the internet retailing market "is not as large as many commentators would have us believe" and that traditional high-street retailing still accounts for 2% of the sector's 2.5% growth.

So it may be that the Internet is taking share of sales and is depressing price. I can believe that.

I think that the Internet is taking a big bite out of high street sales perhaps as much as 12%.

What makes me think there is something going on over and above last year is that Woolworths new online offering is making them smile and reach is up for this bellwether UK retailer page views are up 50 since mid November. With two weeks to go M&S is no so dusty either. The high volume low price end of the market is doing very well and top end Debenhams is holding its own. The demographic seems to have changed and that will be a powerful influence.

The bottom line for PR is that online sales are growing and so the Internet is becomming ever more important to organisations and their internet PR activities.

Meantime, French cyber shopping traffic jumped 79 percent in the past week.