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Romantics Good For Online Retailers

25 March 2010 - 14:45 by Simon Crisp

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Whilst many people can become a little irritated each year by Valentine's Day (unless they are blissfully in love, of course), the chances are that large numbers of online retailers are thanking their lucky stars that such a day exists. As with many of the year's key events, Valentine's Day is a significant driver of retail sales. Last month it was responsible for boosting online sales figures significantly as UK shoppers headed online to buy their loved ones' personal items and gifts. Safe shopping online for Valentines drove total sales estimated at £4.1 million, according to the most recent IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index statistics.

This means that online sales figures are back on track, after a rather shaky January as online retailers experienced a Christmas that was actually quite successful, leaving many with lower inventory levels to sell off during the January sales period. Safe shopping online not only helped to increase sales from January, but also over last February's totals, with sales totals representing a 13 per cent increase in contrast with last year's total for the month.

So what were people buying for Valentines? Apparently, not so many gifts, but rather more intimate items, such as lingerie and beauty products. Sales of both of these types of goods rose by 30 per cent and 25 per cent respectively during the month.

Meanwhile there was some interesting news for the UK's online retailers as Finlay Clark, a senior retail strategist at new media agency bigmouthmedia, noted that the UK's online shoppers have been identified as increasingly sophisticated. As online revenues continue to grow, it is inevitable that consumers will become ever more demanding. From the significant move to shopping via smartphones, through to ongoing security concerns and increasing competition, retailers will need to continue to innovate and impress in retaining and building market share.