Heavy snow results in a November net gain for online stores
Sales were up 23.4% on October and by 21.5% on November 2009.
The figures showed that consumers have dramatically ramped up Christmas shopping, resulting in an above average month-on-month growth across all sectors. In keeping with the festive season, the 'Gift' sector saw the largest growth, boasting a massive month-on-month leap of 123%; the biggest increase between October and November since 2006.
The impressive growth witnessed across the Index can be attributed to a number of key factors. The struggling economy is clearly having an effect on consumer behaviour, driving shoppers away from the high-street in search of online bargains. Also, as the VAT increase looms ever closer, it seems shoppers are looking to make those big, high ticket, purchases before the New Year. This is supported by the 44% month-on-month increase from October, and 12% growth on the same period last year in the electrical sector.
Another sector that saw a dramatic jump in sales is 'Clothing, Footwear and Accessories'. The tail end of November was the coldest recorded in the UK since 1993, so it was no surprise that as consumers stocked up on winter jackets and woolly socks, the sector saw a year-on-year increase of 35% which is the strongest growth for this sector for 18 months. It is significant to note, clothing experienced a massive 50% leap in conversion rate, suggesting consumers are not just surfing the net to window shop, but researching the best price and placing an order.
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini says, "November has been a very significant month in terms of online retail. Of course the surge in sales can be attributed to the season, but it is indicative of the ongoing trend of consumers migrating online. This is a trend which is only set to continue particularly as consumers use the power of the web to make their ever diminishing disposable income go further."
Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, comments,"November was a very strong month for online retailers with £6.4billion spent online. It has also been a very unique month - the huge rise in shopping combined with one of the heaviest snowfalls in recent years has proved challenging for many online retailers. It will be interesting to see how this will affect consumer confidence and whether it will result in a weaker than expected December."
The Retail Bulletin is organising their 2nd Multichannel Summit, to be held in London February 2nd 2011. The event is sponsored by k3 retail and will look at how retailers can maximize profits, market share and loyalty through cost effective, seamless, integrated multichannel strategies.
If you would like to attend as either a delegate or Networking Partner, go to www.retailbulletinconferences.com/multichannel2011
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