The office supplies retailer say it sacrificed some sales to improve online profitability. It also redesigned its business-facing e-commerce site, StaplesAdvantage.com.
A new report also says December e-retail sales jumped nearly 17%.
Online shoppers in the United Kingdom spent approximately 68 billion pounds (US$105.28 billion) in 2011, up 16% from 2010, according to new estimates from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. In 2012, the report predicts, U.K. consumers will spend 77 billion pounds (US$119.24 billion) with e-retailers, up 13.2% from this year.
The last month of the 2011 holiday shopping season also proved healthy for e-retailers in the United Kingdom. During December, online shoppers spent 7.9 billion pounds (US$12.2 billion), up 16.5% from December 2010, the report says. By contrast, all U.K. retail sales increased 2.2% year over year in December, according to the British Retail Consortium, a trade group.
The IMRG Capgemini report says that online sales account for 17% of all retail sales in the United Kingdom. The estimate includes sales of travel and booze products.
“During 2011 shoppers became savvier in looking for bargains and this continued in the run up to Christmas,” says Chris Webster, Capgemini’s head of retail consulting and technology. “The rapid rise of mobile in 2011 will continue into 2012 as consumers became familiar with shopping via tablet devices and smartphones, some taking advantage of their recent Christmas presents. This changing landscape will open up a myriad of opportunity for retailers, including the integration of stores into the multichannel world and the potential of new capabilities like location based marketing services."
The report also says that:
• Online sales of beers, wines and spirits increased 18% in December compared with the same month in 2010.
• Online sales of home and garden supplies increased 45% in December compared with the same month in 2010.
• Online sale of health and beauty products increased 63% in December compared with the same month in 2010.
The Interactive Media in Retail Group is an e-retail trade group, while Capgemini is a consulting firm.