Hi-res photo of Nick Kington available from Dexterity
West Byfleet, Surrey, 5 January 2009 -- Even with the bargain hunters out in force since Boxing Day, the retail high street sales are unlikely to salvage the poor Christmas trading results for the majority of the bricks and mortar retailers. But one ray of hope for retailers could be their online sales. According to the latest research conducted by ecommerce specialist Actinic there were significant increases in order levels and turnover from Christmas 2008 internet trading, as well as a shift towards last minute buying patterns.
In a Christmas poll conducted among a sample of small and medium businesses selling online, respondents reported an average of a 48% increase in turnover and a 43% rise in orders placed for November and December 2008, compared with the same two months in 2007. Actinic’s survey last year reported a similar rise compared with 2006.
Nick Kington, managing director of Actinic comments, “This is the sixth poll we’ve conducted and the survey results confirm analysts’ pre-Christmas expectations that the percentage growth in online shopping would once again far exceed growth in high street sales.”
Richard Phillips from The Soap Kitchen, who had seen a 38% increase in the online business for November/December 2008 said that, “Christmas 2008 and the year as a whole has seen our online sales performance increase considerably, against a noticeable downturn in retail sales through our high street shop over the last three months. 2009 will be a challenging year and we are quietly confident that our online presence will see our strongest sales performance.”
Another trend highlighted by a number of e-traders in their comments was the reluctance of shoppers to commit to purchasing until the last minute, perhaps hoping for December bargains. The experience of Robert Mobberley at Performance Motorcare was typical: “Unlike 2007 where we saw a steady increase in orders from the beginning of November, the bulk of online shoppers in 2008 didn’t appear to start their shopping until well into the first week of December. However in contrast to 2007 they then continued right up until the last possible postage date, with some still making purchases on Christmas Day!
Other comments showed that to be successful requires not just keen pricing but high levels of service and a defined online marketing strategy. Denis Caunce from Parcel2ship said, “Companies that are clear about their online market while offering traditional levels of customer service can still prosper, even in this uncertain climate.” Mark Lowery from eWetsuits added, “Those who offer competitive products or who sell direct to the public can benefit from the recession if they back up low prices with excellent customer service and good products.”
Nick Kington, Actinic, +44 (0)1932 358345, firstname.lastname@example.org
Actinic PR: Jane Lee, Dexterity. Tel +44 (0)1273 470199, jane.lee at dexterity.co.uk
Founded in 1996, Actinic is a British company specialising in helping small and medium retailers trade, both online and offline, using its ecommerce and electronic point of sale (EPOS) packages.
Actinic offers ecommerce products for web designers and self-builders, including both web-based and desktop solutions. The range includes Actinic Enterprise, Actinic Business, Actinic Catalog, Actinic Express and Actinic Designer. Actinic powers 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. Some better known Actinic users include the Royal Opera House, the Scout Association, Vivienne Westwood and the Henley Royal Regatta.
Actinic EPOS systems give a comprehensive feature set that is straight forward to operate at great value prices. The range extends from a low cost, single till installation for the smaller store, to integrated multi-till and multi-site systems with head office functionality for centralised product, stock and price updating and reporting.
Trademarks: Actinic, Actinic Catalog, Actinic Business and Actinic Designer are registered trademarks of Actinic Software Limited.
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