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Asda talks up festive e-commerce boom

21 December 2012 - 09:40 by Simon Crisp

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Asda has been one of the many mainstream retailers to benefit from the growth of safe shopping online in the UK this year, with chief exec, Andy Clarke, speaking out about how the market is changing as a result.

He said that many households were still struggling to find the balance between paying for rising utility bills and having the kind of Christmas during which everyone gets what they want.

Meanwhile, the retailer's head of multichannel, Jon Wragg, said that close to 25 per cent of Asda's e-commerce sales were now coming from smartphone and tablet devices, while back in 2010, they accounted for just five per cent of the total.

As well as delivering goods bought via safe shopping online, Asda has been able to improve web sales by offering click and collect services, so that customers can pick up their products the same day that they order them, in-store.

Mr Wragg said that the availability of a dedicated m-commerce app was also helping to increase the number of smartphones being used to shop with Asda.

This month, the company has seen more e-commerce activity at a later point than in previous years, which means people are turning to the internet to make those last minute purchases for Christmas, which might previously have been satisfied by high street outlets.

The next few weeks will see the arrival of Asda's third so-called 'dark store,' which is being set up in Nottingham. This is where staff load items from the shelves into bags to be collected by customers who have ordered online, rather than requiring consumers to browse in person with a trolley.

The e-commerce market is going to continue to shape the way major retailers do business over the coming months and years, with further growth predicted.