Brands based in bricks and mortar are becoming major online players and now represent half of the top 50 websites, according to research by online analysts UKOM/Nielson.
Many of the highest ranking online sites are run by established high street stores, such as Argos, Tesco and John Lewis who are seeing online growth as essential to their business.
Retail companies now occupy six of the positions in the top 50, up two from 2004, whereas the Telecom & Internet services companies lost eight places dropping to just three.
Seven years ago only 18 of the top 50 sites had an established offline presence, such as Argos and the BBC, this has now increased to 25.
UKOM general manager James Smythe explains: “Over the last seven years, we see two broad developments: first, huge growth in the use of sites built on social content, where we mostly find contributions from people we trust; and second, websites with a high-street or ‘real-world’ presence translating the strength of their offline brands into online audiences.”
Social media has also made its mark on e-tailing, with more and more retailers using social media sites to advertise and increase brand awareness.
Many high street brands and stores now have Facebook pages to further increase advertising power, this makes it easier as customers can ‘Like’ a brand on Facebook and then follow a link to the companies website.
Retail Gazette recently highlighted the growing potential of trading through Facebook, in what some are calling F-Commerce.