A new report recently published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that retail results for February indicate a 13.7% rise in annual online sales, with e-commerce transactions accounting for 17% for all UK retail sales.

In contrast, shops and stores on the UK High Street could only manage a minimal rise of 0.8% from January’s poor results. This brings an overall decrease of High Street sales of 0.4% in the first three months of 2018.

The latest research from e-commerce data providers IMRG and tech consultants Capgemini indicated that online retail sales in the UK were up by 13.1% year on year in February.

Their eRetail index indicated that the branded ‘Beast from the East’ weather storm which hit the UK February, helped bolster a 3.5% week-on-week spike in traffic.

Health & beauty e-commerce sales were up by 33% year on year, showing their highest performance growth in 5 years. Other growth sectors such as online clothes stores were up 14.9% and gifts up by 9%.

What can you do as a business to maximise online sales?

So the facts are – we have all seen in the news the demise of Toys R Us, Maplin while other giants such as Bargain Booze, Mothercare, New Look Wine Rack and Pound stretcher are also struggling.

If you are a shop on the high street or if you sell directly from person to person you may be thinking about dual selling and taking your products online. We’re not talking about promoting your business online so that people visit your shop – we’re talking about setting up a primary e-commerce website for you to sell directly online.

Don’t promote your high street business – Sell online.

If you are not selling online then maybe you should put some time into developing your online store capability. It opens up more substantial geographic opportunities, round the clock sales opportunities and a way to directly track your online marketing activity.

There are numerous e-commerce websites available including Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Big Commerce, Magento, Woo Commerce, StoreEnvy, Etsy, Weebly and more.

Many of the online stores work seamlessly with your social accounts, and you can quickly populate your Facebook store with your products.