Online shopping continues to trump high street

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Sales up 14% as analysts advise retailers to use social shopping.

UK online retail sales in October boomed, up 14% year on year to £5.9 billion.

The figures show significant and continuous growth, according to IMRG. It said that most retail sectors recorded double-digit growth in the month.

IMRG’s figures point to a safe haven in online retail while the high street faces record levels of profit warning issued by UK retailers.

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Kevin Flood, chief executive of social shopping search engine Shopow, said: “The pressure is on the retailers in the approach to Christmas as many are finding that more aggressive discounting is necessary to prevent what could be a difficult season. Although the high street is severely being tested, we are expecting an encouraging next couple of months online and stores that are embracing a multi-channel approach across mobile, online and in-store will be best placed to benefit from the latest innovations that include the integration of social media.”

Flood added that shoppers on the hunt for a deal this festive season will turn to social networking in search of discount codes and deals, so retailers should facilitate social network shopping through dedicated campaigns to capitalise on this potentially lucrative facet of shopping behaviour.

He said: “With purse strings tightened, shoppers are using social networking to share the deals and discounts they have discovered. The retailers who make social shopping accessible will benefit from natural, word of mouth exposure.”

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