HOME shopping group Shop Direct yesterday announced significantly improved sales for the Christmas trading period.
The Speke-based retailer delivered more than 7m items in the six weeks to January 2 as it increased like-for-like sales by 9%. The growth was led by ladies’ fashions and electrical products, including electronic games and toys.
The group sells online and through its catalogue brands which include Littlewoods, Kays and Great Universal.
It has increasingly focused on its online operations and this strategy, backed by multi-million pound advertising campaigns, is bearing fruit. An average of 1m shoppers visited the group’s sites every day during the Christmas period.
Shop Direct are reporting that despite the gloomy economic news they have seen strong growth for the crucial Christmas period compared with the previous year. It says that online retail is providing an ever increasing percentage of their turnover and are in on schedule to meet their target of having 70% of their sales coming via the internet.
The ambitious total shows crucial the web is now to retailers and comes amidst a backdrop of profits warnings in various other sectors.
A stark reminder, in any were needed, of how vital online sales (and therefore web marketing) is to business to consumer (or B2C) retailers came last week as Zavvi closed it high street stores after becoming embroiled in the fallout from the Woolworths insolvency. Zavvi relied on Woolworths for it's online arm and once that salesflow was cut off the writing was on the wall.
At Hitsearch we have seen unprecedented sales figures for our retail clients, Google adWords campaigns have shown some quite amazing cost per sale figures with some customers selling out entirely and others having to draft in staff from other departments to meet the demand.
With these optimistic figures, however, comes a note of caution. Shop Direct said it will continue to develop its offer in 2009 but Mr Newton-Jones expects conditions to remain difficult for retailers.
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