Online sales are growing. Fact. Store sales are falling as a percentage of total retail revenues. Fact.

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Asos: online winner

So why is that we still have many retailers who have failed to grasp the potential of online sales?

Many do not have transactional websites, many do not have mobile-optimised sites, many do not allow goods to be returned to stores, many do not have e-commerce personnel in positions of power. For all these retailers, there are arguably fundamental problems with their strategies.

When you consider that Wilkinson manages to derive only 3% of its sales from its online channel and catalogues, and Dunelm accrues only 4% of turnover from its multi-channel operation, then questions have to be asked.

They are both well respected retailers in their own areas and they have committed resources to growing their multi-channel propositions so why is it that they seem to have achieved so little traction?

One possible answer is that there remains great chasms between the various channels in most retail businesses. Despite much talk of integrated omni-channel propositions the reality on the ground for most retailers is that they have a long way to go on this journey.

The prospect of somebody else eating their lunch remains the likelihood for retailers that fail to adapt to the changing market. There is much work to be done by many traditional stores-based merchants and the longer they dither the greater the threat.

Look out later this week for the Retail Insider Multi-channel / E-commerce Movers & Shakers Top 100 2013 report (sponsored by K3 Retail) that lists the individuals who are having the greatest impact on the retail sector.