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Is Selling Online the Way to Beat the Credit Crunch?


Whilst high street sales continue to fall and the recession takes a firmer grip on UK shoppers’ spending habits, online sales have hit new highs.

Recent reports from the high street confirmed what forecasters had been predicting – that there was a 1.4% reduction in pre-Christmas sales in December 2008 compared to the previous period in December 2009. These figures, according to the British Retail Consortium, signified the worst Christmas for the British high street in 14 years.

Comparatively, online retailers experienced their best ever Christmas sales figures – the British Retail Consortium report also states that online sales grew by 30% compared to the previous year.

These figures are supported by official data produced by the Office for National Statistics which showed all retail sales decreased by 0.8% in December compared with the previous year whilst Internet Sales increased by 19.6% over the same comparative period.

Stats released this week from online analysts comScore revealed that e-cards, jewellery, luxury goods and accessories saw the greatest percentage increases in traffic in December 2008 compared to the previous month.

These figures just go to confirm what those in the industry have been telling us for years – that if you’re not already, it’s time to get your business online. And if you are online, there has never been a more vital time to start pushing and promoting your site using online marketing methods such as PPC (Pay per Click) or SEO (search engine optimisation).

Tim Roberts, Managing Director of Manchester based online marketing company I-COM comments: “With news this week confirming that the UK is officially in recession, these figures from the British Retail Consortium and comScore are even more significant. The buying habits of British consumers are certainly changing as they become more price and web savvy.

It’s important to remember that it’s not all about selling online. Statistics show that only 8% of customers complete their purchases online, but 92% of shoppers conduct research online but prefer to complete their purchases and transactions offline. So whether your website is ecommerce and you are selling directly online, or your website is simply a tool for generating enquiries, search engine visibility really is important for businesses, whatever the industry or whoever the target market”.

For more information about search engine marketing and SEO and how online marketing can improve your businesses’ online presence, visit or call 0870 164 2350.


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