Keep an I on our Week – St Andrews Day edition

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. Focus on October’s Internet Retail Sales as the Spendfest begins
  2. Mobile Online Consumer Spending to increase by 34% in US Holiday Season
  3. Ready steady real time Black Friday

This years Tech Rich List retains its popularity,  and Black Friday dominates as will no doubt Cyber Monday next week. The annual spendfest is truly under way.

We’ve borrowed Google’s doodle as our header for today and  in keeping with our, understandably subdued, Scottish theme we’ll leave you with Mr McCartney’s classic from a mere 36 years ago!

Ready Steady Real Time Black Friday

At Akamai you can check up to see how Black Friday is progressing all over the world in real time (Measured in page views per minute terms – VM). The US is already underway (11am GMT).

If you simply want to buy something most outlets over here are in discount mode with Apple as usual offering discounts on most products excluding iPhones. It looks as if all the last pricing numerals norm of 9 converts to either 8 or 4!

Many of the mainstream media seem to be joining ion generally with enthusiasm and hence adding to the frenzy!

The Express continues to warn us about the upcoming weather!

Dislosure: Unfortunately we have no commercial relationships with Apple!

Mobile Online Consumer Spending to Increase by 34% in US Holiday Season


Thanksgiving is upon us. Well it definitely is over there, heralding the beginning of the busiest time of the year by far for all retailers.

comScore, undoubtedly in our view the “… global leader in digital measurement and analytics” with regards to this time of the year has come up with an estimate of what this years spendfest might involve. Everything, or nearly everything looks as if it’s increasing by 14%! The notable exception being Mobile (tablets and smartphones) which looks to be leading the field with a remarkable increase of 34%. They also reckon it will reach 13% of the total online spend  

We wondered if anyone will come up with a mobile spend on mobiles!

We shall see!

Focus on October Internet Retail Sales as the spendfest begins

Click to enlarge

Just over a week ago  The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the monthly retail sales figures for October (pdf) with a special focus on internet sales Full details  are available on the ONS site.

Overall figures showed a drop of 0.7% against an expectation of a flat month but the ONS reckon on a three monthly basis tat they were flat after a seven month period of sustained growth. The weather yet again remains subdued! (in terms of its influence on this months statistics)!

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • October Internet sales up at 10.5%, their highest level this year and are 10.0% year to date on all retail sales..
  • Online food sales at 3.5% of all food sales were up to nearly an all time high and ahead of their year to date levels.
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 47 pence was spent on non-store retailing 38 pence in non food stores and 15 pence in food stores! This compares with ALL Retail excluding online of  3p for non-store 47p in non food stores and 50p on food!
  • All internet sales excluding food were 16.5% (15.8% revised) and have now been within a range of 15.4% -17.1% since November last year.
  • The decline in the rates of growth of the major online only retailers noted in previous months starting with the Olympics last year have now virtually normalised to the average of over 20% as recorded since the statistics were first compiled. These figures include the online sales of all the majors ie  Apple, Google, eBay, Amazon (including LoveFilm), Asos, Netflix and Shop Direct (Isme Very, Littlewoods etc)

October and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 10.5% (10.0% revised) of all retail sales
  • Year to date sales 10.0% (9.9% revised1) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase of +15.9%.(+16.1% revised1)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on September 2013 annualised +13.4% (2) on October 2012 +14.8%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 18.5% on 2012 and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

As always the “history” has been revised1 by the ONS which this month went back as far as November 2012  with overall small reductions to both Internet sales and all Sales

The ONS expanded words this month are:

Focus on Internet Sales

Internet sales estimate how much was spent online through retailers across all stores types excluding automotive fuel in Great Britain. All data are non-seasonally adjusted.

Internet sales are an increasing part of retail

Internet sales have been rising much more rapidly than retail sales as a whole in recent years, although there has been a consistent pattern of peaks towards the end of the year as shown in figure 4.

Generally, the proportion of retail sales from the Internet peaks in November, although in 2012 the peak was in December instead. The proportion for October 2013 is only exceeded by November and December 2012. Retail sales increase dramatically in December and, to a lesser extent November, due to the Christmas shopping season. It should also be noted that in early 2013 the proportion of sales made online did not fall to the same extent it had in previous years, this was largely due to the harsh winter weather experienced in early 2013 and consumers using the Internet as an alternative to in-store shopping.

Figure 4: online sales as a proportion of retail sales

 The proportion of retail sales made over the Internet has increased year-on-year in every month since 2007, although the rate of increase slowed during 2009 and has been erratic since. In October 2012, this proportion was 9.4%, meaning that the October 2013 figure of 10.5% represents a yearon-year increase of 1.1 percentage points. As shown in figure 5 this is higher than for most of thelast four years, but lower than in 2007 and 2008. It was unchanged on the previous month.

Figure 5: year-on-year change in online sales as a proportion of retail sales

Internet sales by sector

Department stores recorded the largest increase in the proportion of Internet sales in October, increasing by 0.7 percentage points between September and October to 9.9%. This also represented an increase of 2.3 percentage points year-on-year. The value of Internet sales in this sector increased by 18.8% month-on-month and by 39.3% year-on-year.

Conversely, there was a slight decrease in the proportion of Internet sales in the non-store retailing sector, which includes mail order companies and stalls and markets, from 66.2% in September to 65.4% in October. However, this was still an increase of 2.0 percentage points year-on-year, additionally, the value of Internet sales increased by 18.5% in this sector.

Internet sales in detail

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types, excluding automotive fuel, in Great Britain. Figures are non-seasonally adjusted and the reference year is 2010=100. Table 2 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales that each sector makes to total internet sales.

Table 2: Summary of Internet Statistics for September 2013

We have added our annotations to the ONS table) – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales. (We have corrected a misstatement of these %’s in last months table) link

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

Click to

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since October 2007 being the first full year of reporting by the ONS) to an all time high of £32.3 billion an increase in the month (adjusted re restatements and revisions) of 1.12% annualised 13.4%. The average this year is 13.2%. The long term compound average growth rate (from 2007) is 23.0%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figures at £652 million was a little behind our aggressive estimate (£680) and we also were £0.5bn short of our £32.7 billion moving annual total target. November is the height of the spendfest season so we so we will go big again and look for a jump to a £835+ million target alongside a moving annual total of over £33 billion.

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2007 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity)  that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016.

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (March June September and December are 5 week months). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January.

Keep an I on our Week – last of Autumn edition

Our top three articles this week were:

This years Tech Rich List retains its popularity, and the news from Nominet about developments in the .uk namespace are of major importance to all domain owners

We’ll leave you with the John Lewis advert Lily Allen singing Somewhere only we know…….

The UK gets a New Digital Currency

Amazon today announced the availability of their Amazon coins as a payment option in the UK and Christmas came early for all Kindle owners who received 400 coins which at today’s exchange rate amounts to £4. This will be arriving directly into their account.

The coins can be used for the purchase of apps, games and a broad range of in-app items on the Appstore and on Kindle Fire.

You can get discounts for buying them in bulk & the US levels which we would expect to be repeated over here are on coins:


  •    500 4%
  •  1,000 5%
  •  2,500 8%
  •  5,000 and up 10%

They’ve been around a while in the US and, in our view, are a welcome addition to the UK market.

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

An online step in the right direction

 Black for men and white for women seems to be the colour coding for Nicholas Kirkwood’s recently expanded online outlet.

Whilst we don’t really understand the gentlemen only concept mentioned in GQ’s article we are impressed by his site.

Get your new era SLDR courtesy of Nominet

In a surprise announcement (certainly timing wise) Nominet are going ahead with the introduction of Second/Shorter Level Domain Registrations (SLDR).

Press Releases/ Latest news /Decision paper & related items:

From a very quick & superficial scan our headlines are (liable to alteration):

  • 5 year option period for existing unique names to be able to obtain equivalent .uk – better than 6 months but still general availability thereafter which is high risk in our view.
  • Competing names (about 250,000 cases) gets option – pragmatic as something like 92% of all domains on their register are & favours business – some though will be VERY disappointed/angry
  • Introduced around  summer 2014 – surprised at the delay – lots of new gTLD activity underway already & it will intensify)
  • There is a cut off date of 28th October (time 23.59.59) whereby any registrations after that date will not get the option of the equivalently named .uk – practically such a date is necessary (it is the day before Nominets Board meeting at which these decisions were allegedly made. (To avoid any suspicion of speculation we would have made it MUCH earlier).

We shall return to comment after much more reading and some reflection!

On balance, except general availability of existing names not wholly unreasonable result!

Whilst the Board Meeting to make the decision took place on 29 October it was adjourned and reconvened on 12 Noc-vember – which may explain some of the delay x=compared to their “early November” prediction of a decision.

Of the 313 responses to their last consultation almost exactly 50% have been published 156 (on a preliminary count). They include our own (The Information I Ltd) and the Governments!

Not impressed with the sort of new SLR concept!

Five iPad Apps The Entrepreneur Can’t Live Without

Apple’s iPad continues to serve as a valuable business tool, and the recently released iPad Air has raised the bar. You can even use the slick, lightweight device to manage your business remotely and efficiently. The iPad Air’s high-tech retina display, 64-bit A7 chip, 1.2-MP front-facing FaceTime camera and stereo speakers make it a reliant business companion. The on-the-go, fast-paced business pro can improve productivity and enhance business operations with the following iPad apps.


No longer make gathering information and staying updated on current event headlines a chaotic experience. Instapaper perfectly formats, saves and stores articles and Web pages for organized reading at a later time. features the app for its simplicity and cleanliness. Read online articles optimized for your iPad and uncluttered reading. During a layover or lunch break, catch up on or read Entrepreneur’s latest feature as text only with Instapaper.

(£2.00 ish/$3.99, Instapaper)


For a business maven who responds to emails and runs conference calls anywhere, anytime – from her Apple MacBook Pro to her Tmobile Nexus 5 –organization can become a casualty of multiple device warfare. The New York Times’ “Top 10 Must-Have App” winner, Evernote syncs data across all your devices. Audio and text notes, photos, files, to-do lists, and emails are searchable and shareable. Optimal organization and easy access improves productivity and ensures ideas aren’t lost.

(Free, Evernote)


Identified as the “trio for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations” by CIO, iWork’s Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps are top tools for mobile productivity. Use iWork for iCloud beta for complex-free collaboration and continually updated documents. By working in your browser on the Web, you can share documents, edit, format, analyze spreadsheets and create presentations with multiple people in real time. Recently, Apple updated iWork for iCloud with new collaboration features, such as seeing who’s currently editing a document as well as reformatting and moving images, explains Tech Crunch.

(Free, iWork)


Prioritize tasks and maximize your to-do list with Clear+, a task-listing tool praised for its simplicity and flexibility. Exclusive iPad features include List Peek for sidebar previewing, easy task-moving among lists and easy-to-navigate settings. Clear can serve as your digital assistant for efficient personal and professional management. The Verge’s Ellie Hambuger highlights the app’s “iCloud support for syncing lists, emailing lists and twee chime sounds” once a task’s completed.

(£2.99 /$4.99, Clear+)

Fuze for iPad

Meet and collaborate with others whether you’re at your home office or in a hotel in Singapore. Fuze for iPad is a hosting and management app for online meetings and HD video streaming. The iTunes Preview lists the following features:

  • Meetings for up to 25 participants
  • 12 HD video feeds
  • Unlimited VOIP
  • 1GB of cloud storage

During a Fuze meeting, you can gaze at your iPad to run a sales meeting and share a PowerPoint presentation. Invite attendees from your iPad contacts, engage audiences with iPoint™ technology, and share content from the Fuze content library.

(Free, Fuze for iPad)

Other noteworthy business apps include Citrix Go To My PC (free) for remotely controlling your computer, Dragon Dictation (free) for voice transcription and message sharing via email, and Dropbox for iPad (free) for file syncing.

To whet your appetite here’s Apples Air ad!

Guest post from Drew Fleming via


Having the Digital Time of our Lives

Microsoft together with Brand Republic have been trying to “… understand the changing landscape of consumers’ wants and needs” and having done some research across 8 countries are now sharing, at least some of it on both Brand Republics website and their own.

Apparently we:

  • know our information/data is valuable
  • are fascinated with measuring the everyday performance of our bodies and minds.
  • are making permanent the things we want to remember, deleting the things we want to forget and shaping our profiles to create multiple identities that reflect the professional self, the fun self, the studious self.
  • are turning towards smaller, more tailored, more intimate, localized networks to fulfill our online needs.
  • want to understand the inner workings of products and enjoy new experiences through the process of creating rather than merely consuming.
  • want to be Not always off. Not always on. IntelligentlyON.
  • are expecting more and more opportunities to be pleasantly surprised by digital technologies that know us so well.
  • regard new technology as engaging all our senses and bringing the digital world to life.

Much more besides in an impressive piece of research.

Research methodology:

Online survey with regular and heavy internet users in UK, USA, China, Brazil, Sweden, Czech Republic, Russia and Germany, 1,000 respondents in each market – 8,000 in total