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Online retail sales achieve highest growth this year

Figures released by IMRG Capgemini show that online sales in July saw their highest level growth of this year, recording a huge 17% jump on July 2011 and a 9% increase on June 2012.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Online retail sales achieve highest growth this year

This equated to an estimated £6.5 billion spent online, an average of £128 per person, which was a significant increase on the £5.8 billion spent during July 2011. Total growth for the year to date stands at approximately 13% which is in line with previous forecasts.

The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail sales Index found that clothing sales achieved double figure growth in July, rising 18% on June 2012 and up 15% on July last year as the warmer weather on some days of the month encouraged shoppers to spend. The arrival of new autumn lines also contributed to the increase as shoppers updated their wardrobes earlier than usual.

Electricals performed particularly well in July, increasing 30% on the same time last year, boosted by the wet weather and the need for indoor entertainment. The sector was also helped by consumers going online to buy high definition televisions and other electrical devices in readiness for the Olympic Games.

Mobile retail sales continued their strong growth in the month, recording  a 313% increase on the same time last year. However, this figure fell short of the year-on-year growth seen in May and June 2012  when sales grew 360% and 356% respectively.

Online-only and catalogue retailers reported a year-on-year growth of 19.5% in July, overtaking their multi-channel counterparts for the seventh consecutive month. Online only retailers also achieved a higher average basket-spend, reporting a growth of 23%. Conversely, average basket-spend for multi-channel retailers was down 1%.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini said: “The return to such high growth will be welcomed by online retailers. While we won’t know the direct impact the Olympics has had on the sector until next month, the excitement and build up to the Games certainly contributed to July’s strong performance. Retailers, both online and offline, were offered a unique opportunity to build an international base of customers, so it will be interesting to see whether the UK successfully capitalised on the millions of additional visitors to Britain."

Tina Spooner, chief information Officer at IMRG, added: "July saw the strongest Index performance year-to-date in terms of annual growth, with sales peaking during the second week of the month when many retailers launched their summer sales. The London Olympics also appears to have had a positive effect for online retailers, including the travel sector, where the average spend was 24% higher than July last year.  It seems not all Britons enjoyed the blanket coverage of the Olympics, with many instead choosing to holiday abroad.

"The rapid growth in m-retail sales is clearly being driven by a change in consumers’ shopping behaviour and how and when they engage with brands. Retailers that focus on optimising their websites for this new breed of shopper will, no doubt reap the benefits of their investment."

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