So, the Festive Season has descended upon us once more and in place of the white, soft fluffy snow we have rain, rain and…more rain. But Tescos, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Lidl, Aldi, even the local Co-op are all heaving with wet people doing their last minute shopping. And yet, as we jostle from one crowded shop to another, we are doing more and more of our shopping, especially at Christmas, online.

According to IMRG, the UK’s industry association for e-retail, the estimated value of the online retail market in 2012 will have reached a whopping £77bn, of which £4.6bn is the estimated online consumer spend during the peak Christmas shopping weeks (3rd and 10th December). Big retailers who haven’t taken advantage of this boom have seen bust instead – take Comet as a sad case in point.

Interestingly, 20% of those online sales will have been made through mobile devices, including tablets. So it is of no surprise that we are looking very closely at the way the mobile market is growing, at the expense of its big brother the desktop PC (not to mention the High Street) – and making sure that our customers are aware of the potential for doing serious business through mobiles. It’s not just about e-commerce, it’s about making it easier for our customers, suppliers, friends, partners and children to communicate, do business, read books, watch films, make video calls and a million of other things, all through devices small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking.

This is why we will be hosting a series of breakfast seminars under the banner of First Thing @ First Option and the opening event will be The Business of Apps, from 7.30am-9.30am on Wednesday 23rd January at Signal House. A buffet breakfast is included, so no need to finish off that left-over Stollen or Christmas cake first. If you’re interested in coming, drop us a line at david.cradduck@bespokesoftware.com

Meanwhile, from everyone at First Option Software, may we wish you a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas. Oh, and check out our digital festive greeting at www.bespokesoftware.com/snowglobe/index.html