Tuesday, 28 August 2012

July highlights the online retail revolution

Online sales reached it's yearly high through the month of July according to figures published by the Interactive Retail in Media Group (IRMG) which showed a 17% year on year growth.

While these figures show an increasing growth in all online store categories, a particular increase has been seen in clothing and electrical sales, with clothing sales increasing 15 percent on it's previous year and electrical sales increasing 30%. 

When reading these figures, you shouldn't think that this growth only applies to large corporate brands. Small online retailers, such as those who run eBay stores, are also finding a growth in their online sales. While their income may not be as high as other ecommerce brand chains, many customers see small online sellers as a better platform to purchase products as they provide the customers with the products they desire at a lower price.

No matter what product you sell, there will be numerous stores out there who also sell the same products. This competition for customers is what brings about greater value for the customer as online sellers look to gain an advantage over their rivals by offering lower prices on products. This underpins the growing strength of online retail. As more businesses launch online, competition for customers grows. This growth in competition creates greater benefits for customers in product choice and price, enticing more people to transfer from bricks and mortar to online shopping. 

When we look at the rise of online retail, it isn't just sales made via a computer screen. Mobile commerce has seen the biggest growth of all online platforms with an increase of 313% through July when compared to the same point in 2011. However, while this may be an increase on the previous year, it is lower than the figures for May and June. Although this is a decline on previous months, you shouldn't think of this as mobile commerce being on the decline, in fact it is the opposite. 

A recent survey conducted by "InMobi" found that 59% of all people surveyed use mobile devices to complete transactions. Mobile commerce is increasing exponentially and is one of the most successful online platforms with many online businesses both big and small now looking to develop their mobile sales platform in order to gain access to this increased traffic and revenue streams. 

Many customers have now begun using their mobile devices in order to find the best price on products. When a customer finds a product they like in a bricks and mortar store, they then use one of a number of different mobile apps to find the best deal for that product online. This is essentially a win win for an online seller as it not only encourages customers to purchase from an online store, it is the bricks and mortar store that has brought the product to the attention of the customer and the mobile application that has then brought the customer to your store. 

Although many have suggested that this increase could be down to the recent London Olympic games, this growth through July, when combined with online shopping's rise as a whole throughout 2012, is just one more indication of the ever growing dominance online retail has over it's bricks and mortar counterparts. 

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