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An online sales survey conducted by Actinic, a specialist in ecommerce, reveals an increase in online sales during the last three months of 2011. The last quarter of the year revealed an increase in sales revenue of 1.5 percent, while the amount of orders which were processed during the last three months of 2011 had increased by 1.6 percent. The figures were obtained during the sixth online sales survey which is carried out every quarter, and compared to the previous year’s figures.

However, the survey results also revealed an increase of three percent in the number of orders which were processed in the last three months of 2011, in comparison with the third quarter of 2011. The value of the orders has remained more or less static, with the average order value being £76.30 in the last quarter and £76.38 for the same quarterly period in 2010.

According to the marketing manager at Actinic, Simon Armstrong online SMEs are experiencing tough times, with many having to present special offers and incentives to encourage customers to shop with them, even before the Christmas period arrived. As a result, gross profit for a high number of online retailers has fallen although ecommerce is still experiencing relative success in comparison to high street stores who face closure and trading difficulties.

The January sales started early, with Experian reporting that UK retail sites had 86 million hits on Boxing Day alone. According to retailers, a large number of customers waited until Boxing Day to place their orders, a new phenomenon for online retailers.

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