Christmas brings home delivery boom

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Online Christmas shopping has hit another record, with online spending reaching £5.4 billion in November, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
The figure is the equivalent of about £89 spent online for every person in the UK. This was an increase of 22.5 per cent compared to October 2007 and 65 per cent higher than the £3.2 billion recorded during November 2006.

The purchase of gifts was the main driving factor behind the growth, with sales soaring 70 per cent in November compared to October. Also driving the growth, and a sign of festive excess, was the 62 per cent growth in sales of beers, wines and spirits. Online sales of electrical goods grew 46 per cent (highest ever growth in this sector), online sales within the accessories sector grew 56 per cent from October and lingerie 46 per cent.

Statistics from the index highlight the fact that the internet is enabling consumers to shop right up to the last moment with online Christmas shopping occurring much later this year than in previous years. Week on week online sales for the final quarter of each year 2003 – 2007 suggests that the annual increase in the amount of money spent online occurred more sharply in November compared to previous years, compensating for the lower than usual increase in online shopping in October.

* NetDespatch has reported a massive seasonal uplift to its business as more and more people bought Christmas gifts online or through catalogues. In November and December, the delivery of over 16 million parcels was managed online by the NetDespatch Velocity web-based platform, and with the scanning of parcels throughout the delivery process, the company’s secure web servers processed an average of 100,000 transactions an hour.

Home delivery specialist TNT Post has used NetDespatch’s Velocity platform to create an end-to-end, wholly web- based solution to control its packet and parcel home delivery services. Other carriers such as APC Overnight and Amtrak are increasingly providing home delivery services through the Velocity platform

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