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Amazon tie-up lets Twitter users shop with a hashtag

Online retailer Amazon has announced a new partnership that will allow customers to shop via Twitter.

Customers will be able to add products to their Amazon shopping basket through their Twitter account. Credit: PA

With the new system users add the hashtag #AmazonBasket to tweets referencing products they like, then the item is automatically added to their online shopping cart.

Amazon said the tie-up would mean "no more switching apps, typing out passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter".

Christmas web sales up as physical shoppers fall '3.7%'

The thinning out of the Christmas high street rush has been blamed on the rise in online sales, with footfall - the number of people who walk into a shop - down by 3.7% compared to the same time in 2012.

Read more: 'One in five' non-food items bought online at Christmas

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The fall in the number of people browsing shops is being blamed on online retail. Credit: PA

According to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the drop in footfall in the last quarter of last year was the worst drop since August 2012.

Overall footfall recorded by the BRC/Springboard monitor was down 2.4% in December compared with the previous year.

High streets suffered more than out-of-town locations, which lost 0.6% of their walk-in business.

Read more: Supermarket sales slump in run-up to Christmas

Read more: Online sales up 16% last month

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High street shops 'must change' to beat online shopping

A Conservative minister believes shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers lost to the internet.
A Conservative minister believes shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers lost to the internet. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

High street retailers must change the way they do business if they are to beat rising threat of online shopping, a minister has warned.

Mark Prisk, the housing and local government minister, told the Daily Telegraph shop owners must do more if they are to win back customers who have turned to the internet.

The warning comes as the Department of Communities and Local Government today awarded seven towns a share of £1 million in return for successfully breathing new life into their high streets.

Mr Prisk said the Government is doing "all it could" to help shops survive, including reducing business rates and encouraging local councils to be more flexible with parking.

"We will keep providing support where it is needed, but it takes more than funding to make this work," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"As consumers, our behaviour has changed. High streets need to respond to that change if they are to prosper."

Retailers set to lose over £1 billion during festive season

Retailers in the United Kingdom are expected to lose £1 billion over Christmas as a result of shoplifting, dishonest employees and vendor or distribution losses, according to a new study released today by the Centre for Retail Research.

Experts are predicting that over £1bn will be lost over Christmas Credit: Clive Gee/PA Wire

The report, funded by an independent grant from Checkpoint Systems, suggests that the losses incurred by the retail industry over this period could add an extra £38.09 to each UK family's shopping bill.

The report found that UK retailers could lose £522 million through shoplifting, £431 million through employee theft, and £47 million through vendor and distribution losses.

In total, the losses could represent a 3.4% per cent increase over the same period last year.

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Retailers predict busiest day of year for online shopping

  • Amazon.co.uk have predicted that Cyber Monday will be its biggest single day, with orders set to peak at 9.20pm.
  • Marks & Spencer also said it was prepared for what it expects to be its busiest day of the year.
  • Online analyst Experian expects UK consumers to make 115 million visits to retail websites on this year's Cyber Monday, an increase of 36% on last year.
  • Asda Direct says it is expecting to see a 50% spike in traffic to its electronic equipment retail section, compared with a normal Monday.
  • CD sales are also expected to increase by 70%, while some popular DVD titles are due for a 50% rise, the retailer said.
  • John Lewis have reported a record week for its online sales, soaring to £37.9 million, and the third best ever week for John Lewis department stores, topping £124.2 million.

Retail giants call for Sunday trading laws to be relaxed

High street retail giants, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Topshop, have called for Sunday trading laws to be relaxed on December 23 to give stores a financial boost, reports the Daily Mail.

The high street will be most busiest two days before Christmas Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The busiest shopping day on the high street often falls two days before Christmas Day, with the weekend of December 22 and 23 expected to draw peak numbers of shoppers this year.

Cyber Monday 'busiest online shopping day of all time'

On Mega Monday, people across the UK will go online and use their Visa cards to make 6.8 million transactions, the most in a single day in UK history.

That's 21% more than in 2011, signalling that consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to the advantages of shopping online for everyday purchases and special items, especially in the lead-up to Christmas.

– Visa Europe commercial director Dr Steve Perry
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