Green, cost-conscious and busier than ever - today's consumers are turning their backs on the over-crowded, over-priced high street and shopping online from the comfort of their own homes.
The quick-click appeal of Internet buying, with its competitive prices, low shopping-miles and stress-free environment is proving to be the shopper's favourite.It's a significant trend that's turning the smartest retailers in to e-tailers, says Wayne Robbins, director of leading Ilminster-based web design and build specialist, Iconography.
He said: "Businesses large and small are offering consumers the chance to cut out the stress and buy online. This new strategy makes economic sense not just for the shoppers, but for businesses too, who can take advantage of low overheads and flexible timescales."
The credit-crunch gloom, far from quashing the thirst for new e-commerce sites, is fuelling a surge, as retailers look for cheaper, more cost-efficient ways to get their products to market. In the first quarter of 2008, £3B was spent online.
Iconography, says Wayne, is designing and building more and more e-commerce sites. The company has worked with major high street names, notably developing e-retail projects with Debenhams and one of its retail partners, www.tripp.co.uk, to produce a high end e-commerce website, offering a fashionable range of well-known luggage brands.
Recent successful e-commerce website launches for Iconography include www.farmtoysonline.co.uk, a one-stop-shop for farm-inspired children's toys and www.loveitwantit.com, a bespoke provider of unique home and garden items, wall art and handbags.
Julia Lowe, owner of www.farmtoysonline.co.uk said: "There's a lot of competition in the online sector so we were delighted to find Iconography on our doorstep. They have a professional reputation for building and maintaining clean, modern e-retail websites, allowing us to reach a national market from our base in Somerset."
And says Julia, Farm Toys Online, established in March 2008, has already doubled turnover since Iconography unveiled the site, which it still manages.
Mr Robbins said: "e-tail really is booming, recent figures put online sales at £3B in the first quarter of 2008. We have developed the professional expertise and market understanding, from working with Debenhams and Tripp to deliver highly effective e-commerce websites for our expanding client base."
Western Gazette 17th July 2008