At a time when the high-street is feeling the pinch, online sales represent a booming sector. Convenience, home-delivery, price comparison sites and the ability to shop around without having to literally shop around have combined to make it attractive to the consumer, and climbing sales reflect this.

However, eCommerce has it’s own set of requirements distinct from the high-street; a combination of the right technology, an intuitive design and, increasingly, the need for a website to have a personality. With the website in place, the process of driving business to it begins through a blend of SEO, SEM, email campaigns, social media advertising and PR.

Despite these hurdles, the costs of setting up an eCommerce store dwindle in comparison with setting up a retail store. Look at the difference between internet hosting costs and the cost of renting a retail unit in even a modest part of town. Now consider the difficulty of getting customers through the door – it’s easier with a website, but it’s still a challenge. Websites need traffic the way a store needs footfall, but a successful website can also be a driver of business for a related retail outlet.

eCommerce is a growing market. It’s almost impossible to find a report that predicts anything other than growth year-on-year. One report by the World Retail Congress predicts that one-quarter of global retail sales will be made through online stores by 2015.

The message is clear. If you are a retailer, brand, manufacturer, e-tailer or a one-man-band, the BIG eCommerce Conference 2012 – London/South East will provide you with an invaluable insight into emerging technology, best practices and the art of selling online.

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