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East Midlands Chamber News

Businesses not grabbing their share of online shoppers

L-R Andrew Shaw Matt Wheatcroft David KerryAccording to the latest data from Ofcom, the amount spent by UK shoppers online increased on average by 16 per cent per person in 2012 compared to 2011, and businesses in the East Midlands are being warned to gear up to grab their share of action.

The warning comes from Matt Wheatcroft, Managing Director of ecommerce website developer and online marketing specialist, Purpose Media.

He says the rate at which retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers are switching on to the need to develop a dual sales strategy which considers both on and off line customers is not quick enough given the pace that internet sales are growing.

The company says these figures show the average spend per person was £1,175 in 2012, compared to £1,017 the year before. Fuelled by the rising cost of transport and parking to visit the high streets, crowded shops and waiting too long to pay in-store, compared to the ease of sitting at home, browsing at leisure and having goods delivered to the door. Couple that with the technological advances of high speed internet access and the use of mobile devices and there is a compelling case to develop a website to sell products online.

The figure is more than double the average spend per head of other countries in the survey. According to Ofcom's research, shoppers in the UK trust online retailers more than shoppers in other countries. The research also suggested that UK online shoppers have greater confidence in the security of the sites they buy from.

Mr Wheatcroft said: “There is grant funding and plenty of advice available for businesses who want to boost their on-line presence. We have helped many retailers as well as wholesalers and manufacturers reach new markets on-line and launch multilingual websites to reach international markets. Some of our customers are using their website as a complete operating platform to process orders to both retail and trade customers at different prices! The technology is there to integrate accounts and stock control and make the whole back office ordering processing more cost effective and profitable.”

He added, “Retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers must react now, and get their share of the action.”