U.K. E-Commerce Up 54% Over Holiday Season

British consumers spent $15 billion online in the 10-week holiday period between October 16 and December 24, 54% more than the $9.7 billion spent online during the same period in 2005, and more than double the $6.5 billion recorded in the approach to Christmas 2004, reports IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) the country’s e-retail industry association.

Working with eDigitalResearch, IMRG tracks online retail activity via a number of indexes. Its holiday traffic report was based on more than 500 million page views on UK websites between 8th October 2006 and 11th January 2007.

"Websites struggled to cope with the soaring traffic levels, stocks sold out early and delivery companies were at full stretch dispatching the 200 million parcels ordered,” said Jo Tucker, IMRG’s managing director. “Sales demand outstripped supply capacity by a significant margin, otherwise sales would have been higher still."

"Lookfantastic experienced a substantial increase in Christmas sales year on year, exceeding our expectations on many of our most popular lines,” said Anna Bacon, head of marketing at Lookfantastic.com. “Not only did the number of orders increase significantly, but our average spend per customer also increased. We can certainly say that it was a very successful period for sales.”

"Dabs saw an excellent end to our Christmas trading period for consumers in December with sales up by more than 50% in comparison to 2005,” said Jonathan Wall, marketing director, dabs.com. “The Digital Home really came true for many of our customers this year with HD Ready LCD TVs, Digital Storage and Wireless Notebook Computers being right at the top of the stocking this year. Our busiest day of the month was the 12th, which is a full week later than last year, proving that customers are now trusting the Internet for reliable deliveries more than ever before.”

IMRG reports that 2006 Internet traffic actually peaked after Christmas, on December 27, 30% higher than the previous one-day high, recorded on December 11.

"We saw a strong increase in demand after Boxing Day, which lifted our like-for-like sales for the month 40% ahead of December 2005,” said Julian Field, CEO of Furniture123.co.uk.

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