Leading eCommerce and online marketing agency Radiator has warned Scottish retailers that they must be prepared to fully exploit the massive potential presented by online shopping if they want to cash in on what is a major growth market.
UK consumers spent £38 billion online in 2009, an average of £1,102 per shopper, according to the Centre for Retail Research while online sales now account for almost 10% of total retail sales in the UK. And the Centre predicts that online shopping will continue to rise rapidly in 2010, forecasting that total online sales will reach £43 billion.
But Stephen Hunter, the Glasgow-based firm’s co-owner, sales and marketing director, also believes that retailers must invest in the right eCommerce solution for them.
He said, “There is ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that many retailers have only just begun to realise the full potential of eCommerce and how it can boost their sales when accepted best practice principles are applied.
“Given that online sales are predicted to reach £43 billion this year, it is evidently important that all retailers review their eCommerce facilities, though the importance of such a review is magnified further for the growing number of businesses that sell their products online exclusively.”
The UK’s love affair with online shopping shows no sign of flagging any time soon. Rather, recent research reveals that last year UK shoppers spent more online than anywhere else in Europe, accounting for almost a third of all European sales.
But Mr Hunter warns that many retailers could be using an eCommerce system that is unsuitable for their needs.
“Retailers should seek specialist advice prior to venturing into eCommerce,” he said.
“Don’t opt for one of the many off-the-shelf websites at bargain-basement prices that are currently being offered – they may functional but if it fails to ensure maximum visibility with search engines and shopping comparison sites, you could seriously compromise your ability to find and convert new, potential customers.
“A market-ready eCommerce system will enable businesses to sell to UK and international customers through a quick and simple checkout process, get their products listed on Google Base (Shopping), eBay and price comparison engines and achieve optimum search engine performance through a secure and robust platform – all ensuring that traffic and conversion rates are maximized.
“It will also furnish businesses with vital statistics by showing where customers come from, what are the most popular products, the average spend per visitor and the rate of conversion from visitor to customer – vital information that will allow vendors to monitor and improve their products, services and, potentially, the system itself.”
A member of ScotlandIS, the trade body for the information and communications technologies (ICT) industry, Radiator (www.the-radiator.com) works closely with clients to increase their brand awareness, leads and repeat sales online. Its customer base spans a broad spectrum of public and private sector organisations, all of which call upon its expert input to generate online sales.
For further information please contact Fraser Hogg or Stephen Hunter on tel 0141 564 8000
Issued on behalf of Radiator by Liquorice Media 0141 561 4018
Date 26th April 2010