This tip is very simple – beat the downturn in retail spending by investing in your ecommerce offering. We would say that of course, but let’s look at the facts. The British Retail Consortium has this week reported its worst fall in sales since records began in 1996. March sales were down 1.9% on a year ago with the BRC stating that, “Shoppers don’t want to spend unless they really have to”.

By comparison, Internet sales were 7.5% higher than a year ago. This growth has slowed a little on previous years, but it’s far better than the high street news.

Contributing factors are thought to be the recent austere budget and this year’s late Easter, meaning that sales haven’t started yet. But it’s not all bad news for those with bricks and mortar operations. Those companies with both high street and online presences have experienced a higher average growth since March 2010 than those with only an online operation.

The overwhelming message has to be:

  • High street retailers without effective ecommerce sites need to act quickly to beat the downturn and open up this profitable, growing channel
  • Companies with high street stores and ecommerce sites should look where they can improve their web offering to further exploit growth and beat the high street downturn

Keep trying different things with your online operations, test, find out what works and you’ll succeed.