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Shop Direct celebrates record festive sales

Shop Direct, the owner of Very.co.uk, is celebrating record Christmas trading figures with group sales in the seven weeks to 23 December up 9% year-on-year.

DEPARTMENT STORES

Shop Direct celebrates record festive sales

During the period, sales at Shop Direct’s growth engine Very.co.uk climbed by 19%.

The company said the figures put it on track to achieve another year of record sales and profits in 2016/17.

Shop Direct said sales via mobile devices comprised 68% of its online sales in the period with mobile traffic to its sites increasing by 30% year-on-year. Sales via mobile devices accounted for 70% of Very.co.uk’s online sales. Within this, sales via smartphone made up 55% of online sales and grew by 45% year-on-year to make it by far the most dominant and fastest growing channel.

Alex Baldock, Shop Direct chief executive said: “Shoppers chose convenience; being able to shop via smartphone was top of their Christmas lists. Most of the growth in retail is coming from online, and the growth in online is coming from mobile. We continue to put mobile first – and it paid off this Christmas."

In 2017, Shop Direct will be investing in AI to enhance its personalised online shopping experience. Building on the success of Very Assistant, the company will be introducing an AI-fuelled CUI platform to allow customers to ask questions in their own words within a chat environment, with the AI technology providing the answers they are looking for.

Baldock added: “Our customers don’t want to feel like one of the crowd; they expect a unique experience. It’s what we gave them before, during and after they shopped this Christmas. Now, we’re using the power of AI to take personalisation to the next level.”

 

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