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Ecommerce drove UK retail growth this Christmas

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As snow covers much of the country today, high street retailers are likely to be feeling somewhat gloomy today. Not only are their shops set to be emptier than usual, but ONS figures today suggest that growth barely happened over Christmas. What growth there was largely took place online where internet sales grew strongly, figures from the ONS and IMRG suggest this week. We report on both in today’s Internet Retailing newsletter.

But the fact that online retailing is growing strongly, a fact also illustrated this week by figures from a string of retailers including Dixons Retail, owner of Currys and PC World, Argos, Asos, and N Brown Group, also offers hope, and not only for those who are already online. For, it becomes clearer each day, that while retailers are now working in an ever more competitive market, those who offer strong multichannel services do much better.

Deliver the convenience and competitive pricing that the customer now both wants and expects, and retailers can grow faster than the UK retail sector as a whole. But the fate of both Blockbuster and HMV this week shows that this is no longer optional. Retailers must embrace the digital revolution if they are to survive. So while shops may be emptier on today’s Snow Day, will virtual tills be ringing as consumers buy from home? We wait to see with interest.

We have three upcoming Internet Retailing webinars to flag up this week. As always, it’s free to attend our webinars, which you can also catch up on after the event through our webinar page.

On February 6, at 3pm, Nathan Richter, strategic services director at Monetate , is our speaker for a session focused on the Latest Trends in Website Personalisation. During the course of the event retailers can bring their knowledge of personalisation techniques up-to-date, while finding out how some successful brands are using them to boost their order values and return on investment. To find out more and to sign up for the website click here.

On February 12, at 4pm, we’ll be joined by Don Bush, VP, Marketing at Kount, for a webinar that explores how retailers can Boost Sales, Beat Fraud and Reduce Chargebacks. Featuring a case study from CD Baby, the session will explore ways that traders can make sure their sales are both safe and profitable. Find out more here, where you can also sign up to the webinar.

On February 20, at 11am, Matthew Curry of Lovehoney and Chris Edge of SLI Systems join us for a webinar, If they can’t find it they can’t buy it – importance of site search for online retailers. During the session the two speakers will examine how site search is used on the Lovehoney site, while Chris Edge, head of customer success UK at SLI, will also give broad advice on best practice use. To find out more about this webinar and to register, click here.

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