Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Online BOOMS!

In the ten weeks up to Christmas the forecasts for online retailing were wildly out. A twenty percent miss-match between forecast and actual is just awful. The Mad Hatter could do better. broke all records with 1.3m shoppers buying food and presents on the site in the four weeks before Christmas - up 30% on 2005.

Wetherby-based ecommerce firm NetConstruct, working with Hemingway of Ripon, has provided internet sales sites for many High Street names including Argos, Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and BhS and according to Hemingway's managing director, Andrew Johnson, online sales show an above average increase of 56 per cent over the same period last year.

The number of parcels delivered is also thought to have increased to 200m from the 180m initially predicted.

Online sales over the Christmas trading period - the 10 weeks to December 24 - are expected to be up 50% to £7.5bn. James Roper, IMRG chief executive, who had projected sales of £7bn for the period, revised the figure upward. He said: "This has definitely been an online Christmas."

These numbers are telling us there are more people are spending more online. Twentyfive million people are shopping online in the UK. For those who have got a taste for it, online is now a real option and 80% of white goods are now sold online anyway.

And the influential and Internet savvy e-commerce said of the IMRG lift: Our gut reaction is that it could, if anything, be higher than that. This year was a real coming of age for internet shopping, and practically everybody I know bought some of their Christmas presents online.

I am with e-commerce and in two weeks we will know.

Now, is the PR industry ready to contribute? Are we working on Web 2.0 solutions. Well, it looks like its PR skills that are needed.