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Shops fight back

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Online sales (or eCommerce) should be part of your business strategy and seen as a channel for sales - not necessarily the only channel.

TRADITIONAL retailers could be making a fightback, with data from the spending habits of 2 million shoppers suggesting they are clawing back online market share from internet businesses.

Commonwealth Bank research indicates growth in total online retail spending remains strong - up 30 per cent in the year to July to $14 billion. According to CBA cards data, online sales represent 5.4 per cent of retail sales, with clothing the fastest-growing category.

But of interest to shops stuck in the real world of shopping centres and suburban high streets will be the growing view from CBA analysts that pure-play online retailers no longer have the web channel to themselves.

''After a year of explosive growth in 2011, the pure-play online retail sales growth is converging with total online sales growth,'' said Savanth Sebastian, an economist at CommSec.

''This convergence suggests bricks and mortar retailers are making a greater impact online and stemming channel-share losses to the pure-play operators.

''This may be an early sign that the international trend of traditional 'bricks and mortar' retailers dominating the online channel is playing out in Australia.''

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