Santa's Sleigh to Take off in Cyberspace

The Birmingham Post (England), October 3, 2006 | Go to article overview

Santa's Sleigh to Take off in Cyberspace


More consumers than ever are expected to shop online this Christmas as better delivery times, greater ease with search engines and social net-working sites like MySpace.com fuel shopper confidence.

Hitwise UK, a leading tracker of internet trends, compiled the forecasts and said supermarket giant Tesco could be among the biggest winners, indicating how much Britain's traditional retailers are expanding in cyberspace.

"We project that the share of visits to retailers will increase by eight per cent over last year, an even stronger rate of growth than experienced in the busy 2005 season," said Hitwise UK's research vice-president Heather Hopkins.

Retail sales should peak in the second and third weeks of December, she added,

reflecting consumers' growing trust in online retailers to get presents to them in time to put under the Christmas tree.

"This growth is driven by confidence in online shopping, on-time delivery, ubiquitous use of search engines and referrals from social networks," she said.

Britain is witnessing growth in internet shopping with data showing more and more shoppers now prefer to log on and browse from home rather than face the stress of the high street.

Industry body IMRG showed in August UK internet sales were outpacing total spending in shops by ten times and retailers from Tesco to fast fashion chain Topshop now count their internet sites as their second largest shops.

Only one traditional retailer Argos - made it into

the top five online shopping sites last year alongside mostly US-based pure play online sites Ebay, Amazon, Play. …

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