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Online retailers predict sales increases

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UK online retailers have predicted improved sales in 2013, with nearly two thirds confident that sales will increase this year, a new study by Royal Mail has revealed.

According to the research, just over half of SME online retailers recorded sales increases last year and 64 per cent believe that sales will continue to increase in 2013.

Despite the fact that 70 per cent of retailers believe that they are operating in a more competitive market than two years ago, they remain confident about the future.

Four out of ten respondents said that shoppers usually seek out the best prices due to an increasing number of price promotions and half of them believe that customers are more price sensitive.

As a result, 46 per cent of retailers plan to price their products more competitively in 2013, while 48 per cent will improve the range of products available in an attempt to improve customer satisfaction.

Retailers also highlighted the rise of smartphones and tablets among consumers as a challenge which must be faced as they move into 2013.

Consumers who use smartphones and tablets to do their online shopping are more likely to use retailers they know rather than searching for the best deal, according to 31 per cent of retailers.

More than one third of retailers want to develop mobile apps in 2013 to capture this market, and ten per cent have already done so.

Commenting on the findings, Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Our study shows that online retailers are responding to the needs of shoppers to grow sales in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Published on Wednesday 02 January by Editorial Assistant

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