The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that online sales grew 13 per cent year-on-year in April – following an unprecedented four months of single-digit growth.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer, at IMRG said, “The return to double-digit growth during April has resulted in overall growth of 9 per cent year-to-date for the UK online retail market. Although this is still below our 2015 growth forecast of 12 per cent, a number of sectors continue to outperform the total market including footwear, lingerie and accessories. The latest results also reveal that online browsers converted at the highest rate for April since 2009 – helping to fuel the 3.9 per cent month-on-month rise between March and April, where the established trend is for flat growth.”
She continued, “A separate survey of IMRG members has revealed that UK retailers believe a number of factors influenced the slowdown in e-retail growth during Q1 including market maturity, increased competition, less discounting resulting in consumers holding out for sales and promotions and also political and economic uncertainty. However, it is too early to say whether the single-digit growth recorded during Q1 was merely a blip and we will be monitoring developments very closely over the coming months.”
April sales were up 4 per cent month-on-month – a marked shift in the usual established trend of flat monthly growth between March and April, and the highest recorded for this period since 2007 – as online shoppers were apparently unaffected by the huge uncertainty around who would win the general election. April also saw the highest conversion rate yet seen in 2015 at 4.6 per cent.
Improvements in average temperatures seemed to provide a boost to clothing – where sales growth was up 15 per cent, its best performance in 2015 so far. The travel sector also continued to perform well in April – up 20 per cent year-on-year – as people look to book their summer holidays.
Mobile continued to drive overall online sales growth. April’s figures show that mobile sales increased 52 per cent year-on-year and 8 per cent on March.
The Index was launched in April 2000 and over that period online sales have rocketed by 11,000 per cent, with an estimated £640bn spent online over its lifetime.