The sixth quarterly UK online sales survey conducted by ecommerce specialist Actinic shows a slight increase in online retail sales for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to Q4 2010.
The research reports an average of only a 1.5% increase in sales revenue as well as a 1.6% increase in the numbers of orders processed in the three months to 31 December 2011, when compared to the same quarter in 2010. However, there was over a 3% increase in the average number of orders processed by each company in Q4 2011 when compared to Q3 2011.
The average order value has remained virtually unchanged at £76.30 for Q4 2011 compared to £76.38 for Q4 2010.
Simon Armstrong, marketing manager at Actinic Online comments, "These figures show a turbulent time for SME online store owners with many needing special offers even before Christmas to tempt customers to place an order, thus hitting the gross profit margins for many e-tailers. However, in comparison to the high street, with frequent announcements of chains of stores in difficulty, online is still faring well in very uncertain times."