Four years is a long time in ecommerce!

The online arena is constantly changing, a fact that’s hardly surprising considering the internet has only been a major part of most people’s lives for the last five years or so. With this in mind, I was very interested to read some statistics released by the IMRG today, relating to recent changes in the ecommerce space.

The IMRG – the leading organisation for the UK online retail industry – has been running its IMRG/Hitwise monthly benchmarking report for four years and has taken the opportunity to reveal how things have changed. The results show that while, predictably, Amazon retains the top spot – and has done consistently since the data was first collected – seven of the top ten from May 2006 are still there today. This is perhaps surprising considering the dynamic nature of the digital world.

Of the companies in the list, Amazon.co.uk, Argos, Play.com, Apple, Tesco, Amazon.com and easyJet all retained their place in the top ten. ASOS, HP, ASDA and Screwfix are the fastest climbers in the list, while brands such as MyTravel, Opodo, Packard Bell and Woolworths have disappeared from the list in the last four years entirely, albeit for different reasons!

Increasing number of high street retailers getting it right

Another really interesting point that comes to life through this league table is the number of high street retailers that now seem to be ‘getting it right’ online. Six of the top ten retailers have physical stores, up from four in May 2009. Thirty-three of the top fifty retailers have a high street presence, up from twenty-three in 2006.

What all this tells us is that, despite the struggles and misfortunes, the retail industry has suffered over the last four years, there has still been a lot of growth and development, but also a lot that has stayed the same; there’s been a surprising amount of stability.  I’d argue there is still a lot to do; our Hitting the Checkout report from last year (download it here), for example, found that some of the UK’s top retailers are yet to really take advantage of newer channels like social media to improve results from ecommerce.

The big question now is, what will the next four years bring? Mobile commerce anyone…?

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