e-Retail gathering momentum as annual forecast revised up
Results show that the Index climbed 16% year-on-year (YoY) and 11% on August - equating to British shoppers spending £6.4bn online.
• £6.4 billion spent online during September 2012, YoY growth of 16%
• 15% growth forecast for Q4, with annual growth estimate revised up to 14%
• Clothing sector experiences growth of 18 % YoY; highest since October 2011
• Mobile retail soars again, up 312% YoY in September
With a disappointing summer for retailers ending and the distractions of the Olympics over, e-retail has begun to pick up momentum in the lead up to Christmas. IMRG and Capgemini are now forecasting 15% growth for Q4 and have raised the annual growth estimate one percentage point to 14% for 2012.
The acceleration of sales growth in the Index tallies with other positive developments in the economy, such as Inflation being at its lowest level since 2009 and the unemployment rate falling to 7.9%, all contributing to an apparent rise in consumer confidence belying the sluggish economic performance reported in GDP figures.
Sales via mobile devices have continued to rise at a remarkable pace, with September’s figures coming in at 312% YoY. Interestingly, the conversion rate of 1.9% for September is the highest recorded to date and shows how important mobile devices are becoming in the online purchasing journey.
Strong YoY growth of 54% in the gifts sector indicates that shoppers are gearing up for Christmas already and stocking up early to spread the cost and benefit from summer stock discounting. Clothing sales online grew 18%, the highest YoY growth since October 2011, with the sector benefiting from the cool and unsettled seasonable weather in the second half of the month.
YoY growth for online-only retailers continues to exceed that of multichannel retailers. However, in September the difference in growth rate fell to just 3% - a pattern attributed to shoppers returning to the high street after a packed calendar of summer events and disappointing weather kept them indoors over the summer.
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