Online sales surge over Christmas as savvy retailers reap the benefits. Biggest rise in online sales in four years, British Retail Consortium reports.

Online sales grew strongly in December 2013 as shoppers showed increasing confidence in purchasing items from the web, with savvy retailers reaping the benefits.

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Data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that online sales of non-food products were up 19.2 percent in December 2013, compared with the same period in 2012. This was the highest growth in four years, the BRC said.

Helen Dickinson, director general at BRC, said the figures proved that innovative retailers were able to beat the competition by utilising all aspects of the online experience.

"This Christmas we've seen innovative retailers using click and collect and other approaches to make a virtue of both their website and their physical shops. And that's something we see growing in importance,” she said.

“Fast deliveries and social media offers have also helped us to plan ahead.”

Surge in Online Sales

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, added that the numbers proved online sales were a major part of the retail environment now and firms must recognise this in order to prepare themselves for the future.

"Online sales surged in December representing almost one in five items sold, proving that retail sales growth is being driven by the click of a mouse, rather than the ring of the tills,” he said.

One firm that has already reported benefitting from consumers' willingness to shop online is M&S, which said sales from its website rose by 22.7 percent over the same period last year, as mobile and tablet sales rose by 80 and 100 percent respectively.

courtesy of D. Worth

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