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Christmas Cheer for Online Retailers in 2005 - Actinic research shows 80% average growth in Christmas takings over last year

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West Byfleet, Surrey ~ 3 January 2006 ~ Online retailers experienced a bumper Christmas in 2005, with trading growth at least equalling that of 2004, according to a survey by ecommerce specialist Actinic.

In a Christmas poll conducted among a sample of small and medium businesses selling online, respondents reported an average 80% increase in turnover for November and December 2005, compared with the same two months in 2004. Thesurvey last year reported a similar rise compared with 2003.

The overall volume of online orders in November and December rose even more dramatically compared with 2004, by an average 110%.

The survey results confirm analysts’ and IMRG expectations that growth in online shopping would once again far exceed growth in high street sales. For example, Harry Ganz of The Garden Pharmacy ( reports that, “The increase in ecommerce was 32% compared with a bricks and mortar increase of 5%.”

Phil Rothwell, managing director of Actinic, is unsurprised by the rise. "The high level of growth in online consumer demand has been sustained and looks like continuing for some time," he says. "Those investing today are seeing greater returns, because ecommerce penetration remains quite low.

However, about half of sites reported little or no change in the average value of Christmas orders compared with the rest of the year. Almost half of the sites did report increases in overall order value, of between 5% and 250%. Two sites reported small falls. On average, the Christmas online shopping cart was worth 30% more to retailers than at other times of the year.

Sites doing less than 50% of their business online reported more modest increases in order values, averaging around 6%. They also reported lower than average increases in turnover, from slightly higher average order volumes. This suggests that companies investing more heavily in the development and marketing of their ecommerce sites are the ones that reap the greatest dividend.

Annie Jones of Travelling With Children
( is confident that the convenience and value of shopping online, in a society where life is increasingly busy and leisure time is increasingly precious, will ensure that ecommerce continues to grow for some time to come. “Taking the stress out of shopping, and saving money, allows our customers more quality time with their families to enjoy the spirit of Christmas,” she says.

And for retailers, a good Christmas is not just a flash in the pan – it can also be the herald of good times to come. Chris Burslem of Online Paper ( expects the results of this season’s trade to continue paying off well into the coming year. “Customers who bought from us for the first time over Christmas 2004 have also tended to order other products through this last year,” he says. “So we are hopeful that there will be a further benefit to us during 2007.”

For further comment, contact:
Phil Rothwell, MD of Actinic. Tel 0845 129 4800,

Actinic PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel +44 (0)1273 470199,

About Actinic Software Ltd:
Founded in 1996, Actinic produces ecommerce software for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that want to sell online. Its products include Actinic Developer, Actinic Business, Actinic Catalog, Actinic Audio Store and Actinic Express, and power more UK ecommerce sites than any other company. Research shows that over 50% of SMEs using packaged software to run their e-stores use Actinic. Search for 'acatalog' on Google to see the vast range of online stores that run using Actinic. Some of Actinic's better known UK users include the Royal Opera House, Lloyds of London, the Royal Navy and Help the Aged. Visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Dexterity in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit