Online sales figures hit all-time high
Figures reviewing online sales in the Christmas period in Britain have revealed a 16.4% increase in the number of people shopping online compared to last year.
The figures, released by IBM as part of their Smarter Commerce initiative, showed that there was a 45% increase in online sales on Boxing Day. These increases followed a strong shopping period in November when sales were up 13.7% on 2011.
Global companies are recognising the potential in expanding the online shopping industry. Google, for example, had their bid for online retail tracking company Channel Intelligence accepted on Wednesday at a cost of $125 million.
Meanwhile, global internet retailers Amazon debuted their own currency, Amazon Coins, on Tuesday. Although currently available to Kindle Fire tablet owners only, the company is set to expand its coinage to allow consumers to purchase films and music downloads as well as concrete items off its website.
For consumers, the benefits of virtual shopping are numerous. As well as the convenience of being able to browse at any time of day, it’s much easier to compare prices online making it more appealing at a time when money is tight.
In addition, websites aware of their competition offer exclusive sales and cheaper deals for their internet consumers.
The steepest increases are being seen in online clothes retailers. The Financial Times has revealed that over 10% of clothing sales in the United States are made online, and virtual clothing purchases in the United States are set to reach as much as $40 billion this year and as high as $45 billion in 2014, predicts Moody’s Analytics, as consumers overcome their past preferences for trying on their clothes before they buy them based on fair returns policies offered by online retailers.
The variety of clothing stores online is vast in the UK as well with many companies in fierce competition with each other. Its online versatility means consumers can easy drop by clothing stores like Zalando to keep up with international trends and perhaps find a decent bargain.
Photo: Keith Williamson