Retailers lost sales this Christmas because their supply chains were unable to cope with the level of demand from customers for online shopping.
The trade body for online retailers, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), said that consumers spent £7.66bn online over the 10 weeks up to Christmas.
IMRG managing director Jo Evans said, “Websites struggled to cope with the soaring traffic levels, stocks sold out early, and delivery companies were at full stretch dispatching the 200 million parcels ordered.
“Sales demand outstripped supply capacity by a significant margin, otherwise sales would have been higher still.”
Online spending for the 10-week Christmas period was 54% greater than the £4.98bn spent over the same period in 2005. Sales were more than double what they were in Christmas 2004, when consumers spent £3.33bn.
Online retailers are still getting to grips with their home delivery networks. IMRG chief executive James Roper said, “Home delivery is the last main structural problem for the industry. It is a horrendous problem.”
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