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Weather and VAT rise can't stop e-commerce growth

eCommerce sales for November and December were 31% up on 2009 according to MetaPack's eTracker 100 and this growth has continued into 2011, despite VAT increases.

The year-on-year increase was greater in November (38%) than December (26%), in part reflecting disruption caused by bad weather. The first Monday of December (6th) was rightly called Cyber Monday with the highest despatch figures, followed closely by Monday 13th December. This pattern was also visible in 2009, but then the third Monday in December remained strong while in 2010 it fell by 31%, this week being effected most by the adverse weather conditions.

“Although traffic to retail websites saw the highest reported figures on Boxing Day, our despatch data indicates that much of this traffic was browsing and researching prices before hitting the sales on high street and that the actual buying happened before Christmas. However it is interesting to note that once back at work, people flooded back to the online stores,” explains Patrick Wall, MetaPack CEO.

December also saw more companies operating throughout the season, with the likes of Asos, JD Sports and DSGi despatching on Boxing Day with Asos even operational on the 25th. Christmas Eve was also a record day this year with despatches for post-Christmas 50% up on last year.

The first working day back after the New Year (Tuesday 4th) again saw a 33% increase compared to the first day back last year (Monday 4th), showing the VAT increase didn’t have quite as much of an impact as expected and people were still keen to make good use of the online sales.

Wall adds “Over the last two months, eCommerce has had to battle against the elements and the taxman. Despite that we continue to see year on year growth of over 30%. With more retailers still coming on line, with improvements in web offerings, broad band speed and convergence with television, we’ll continue to see very strong growth in 2011.”

Source : The Retail Bulletin

09 January 2011
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