December online spend to exceed £10 billion with conversion rate expected to reach five year high
A new study is forecasting that spending with online retailers will reach £10.8 billion in December this year.
According to the analysis carried out as part of the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, this will be the first time that spending will exceed the £10 billion mark.
Looking at the final nine-week period of the year covering November and December, the index estimates that online spending will total £20.4 billion. It also predicts that the peak period will cover the weeks commencing 2 and 9 December, where the sales activity on retail websites will be at its highest. The busiest day overall in terms of sales volume is expected to be Monday 2 December.
Last month, IMRG and Capgemini surveyed around 50 retailers and asked when they thought the peak day would be on their sites. Although the results were spread over several weeks, the majority of retailers surveyed said they expected the week commencing 9 December to be their peak week.
The study also forecasts that the average conversion rate across all devices will hit a five-year high of 5% in the fourth quarter of 2103. This follows three successive quarters of increased conversion rates compared with the same periods last year.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG: “For the first time in 3 years we expect annual e-retail growth to exceed the level recorded in the previous year, with 2013 sales on target to achieve 15% growth on last year. The increase in the number of browsers that convert to buyers is also positive news for retailers as they gear up for the key festive trading period, with the average conversion rate expected to reach pre-recession levels during the fourth quarter.
“Already we are seeing a number of retailers ramping up their online offering in the run up to Christmas. Click & Collect, next day delivery and even one-hour delivery slots are just a few of the options on offer to attract the lucrative festive shopper at this highly competitive time of year.”
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini: “The impact of mobile devices in 2013 has been very significant, and this forecast is in direct response to the overwhelming growth we have seen in sales via tablets and smartphones over the last few years. The huge strides in technology and the improved mobile services from retailers, such as digital wallets, mobile coupons and location based services, have all played a major role in driving growth through these channels. Improved mobile sites have made shopping on the move much easier, so we are also seeing an increase in click & collect services.
“2013 has seen the introduction of several lower range tablet devices, such as Tesco’s Hudl and Argos’ MyTablet, both of which will be at the top of millions of Christmas lists this year, so we can expect to see mobile growth increase even further in 2014.”
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