Online sales up 13% in September
Online retail sales increased by 13% in September from August to achieve the strongest-ever growth on record for the period.
Figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which has been recording online retail sales for the past 13 years, shows the rise to be the second Index-lifetime record this year. This follows the first negative online growth ever recorded between June and July which was largely due to the prolonged summer heatwave.
Overall the Index was up 20% year-on-year in September, as online sales continued to rise ahead of expectations, driven by the increasing use of mobile devices as part of the purchase journey. In further good news, the average basket value reached its highest point since June 2012.
The Index also revealed that almost a quarter of mobile device sales (23%) were through smartphones in September. IMRG and Capgemini split tablet and smartphone sales in August for the first time, when smartphones only accounted for 15% of mobile device sales.
The clothing sector recorded a sharp 18% rise compared to this time last year to record highest growth rate for the sector since June. The electrical sector also picked up, following periods of low growth over the summer, driven by sales of new technologies and next generation smartphones.
Chris Webster, VP,head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini: “This month’s Index is a good indicator that we are headed towards economic recovery, and a great sign for a strong Christmas. The fact that e-retail has seen its sharpest period of growth for September suggests that consumers are shopping with confidence. In addition, September’s three year high in the average clothing basket value is a clear sign that retailers are selling through at full price, giving even more confidence to the economic recovery.”
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, added: “The latest Index results are encouraging as we enter the fourth quarter, with retailers preparing for the crucial festive trading period. The record monthly growth in September is an indication of increasing consumer confidence and with smartphone year-on-year sales growth reaching an impressive 150%, it is also evident that shoppers are becoming more comfortable with shopping via their mobile devices. Year-to-date the UK e-retail sector has grown 16% compared with the same period in 2012 and we anticipate the sector will continue to record double-digit growth during Q4.”
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