The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
The web now accounts for about 6% of all revenue.
It was a good year online in fiscal 2011 for Marks & Spencer Group Plc, one of the biggest mass merchandise chains in the United Kingdom.
For the fiscal 2011 year ended April 2, Marks & Spencer, No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe, reported:
- Web sales increased 31% to 541.0 million pounds ($888.9 million) from 413.0 million pounds ($678.6 million) in fiscal 2010.
- Total sales grew year over year 2.1% to 9.70 billion pounds ($15.90 billion) from 9.50 billion pounds ($15.60 billion).
- Operating profit declined 2.3% to 824.9 million pounds ($1.36 billion) from 843.9 million pounds ($1.39 billion) in fiscal 2010.
Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 5.6% of total sales compared with 4.3% in fiscal 2010.
“Over the year we worked on developing our multichannel business to make it easier and more convenient to shop M&S,” says CEO Marc Bolland.
Marks & Spencer also listed other e-commerce highlights for the 2011 fiscal year including:
- Web site traffic average 3 million visitors per week.
- The retailer’s mobile commerce site attracted 5.5 million visitors and generated 59,000 orders.
- Marks & Spencer now has 295,000 fans on Facebook and 26,000 Twitter followers.
“The use of social media is enabling us to engage with our customers and gain further insights into their shopping habits and preferences,” says Bolland.