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Christmas Cheer for Online Retail

Fotolia 20744025 XSChristmas Cheer for Online Retail

The UK etail market grew by 17 per cent year-on-year to December 2009, higher than the 14 per cent annual growth recorded in December 2008. So what can we expect this year, after 12months of steadying economic climes followed by more budget cuts and the prospect of a double-dip recession?

I’d wager that online will again outstrip in-store and see further growth, and that we’ll be seeing far more cross-channel innovation to support it.

We believe we’ll also see a healthy slice of that revenue coming from mobile devices. M-commerce has been bolstered over the past year by the continuing flood of Smartphone’s into the mainstream market. ABI research has predicted that the mobile sector will grow to $119bn ($75bn) by 2015 in the US. In Europe, this market is already producing healthy results, and some feel it’s likely to overtake the US by the end of the year.

And what will Santa most popular gift be this yuletide? Well the iPad, OF COURSE. After a torrid start, things have settled down for Apple’s latest game-changer. The naysayers have quietened, and it looks like it will become an apparitional fixture, if not a staple item in every household.

And social media will certainly be joining in the festivities. The recent launch of Facebook Places means there’s plenty of opportunity for brands to communicate with consumers over the holiday period, particularly if they can harness the power of the Like button as well as virgin did directly.

The airline is offering users the chance to enter a competition for Upper class tickets if the ad gets shared enough to hit 50,000 Likes on facebook page. A simple and cost-effective ruse to give a standard broadcast campaign more mileage. Twitter will also come into its own, as it’s a great medium for one-day sales, and perfect for last minute Christmas campaigns and the January sales.

Confidence in ecommerce is at an all-time high, and, despite murmurings about further economic instability, I’d happily bet the contents of my own stocking that December’s online sales will break all records by an even bigger margin than 2009.

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