July online retail sales get highest growth of the year

21/08/2012

Online sales jumped 17% year-on-year during July, representing the highest growth this year, according to new data. The findings, from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, attributed much of the growth to clothing and electrical sales during the month. In comparison to the same period last year, when spending came in at £31 billion, this year saw 12.6% growth, fuelled mainly by poor weather and the European Football Championships – two factors that kept Britons at home and online.

According to figures from, online sales grew nine per cent compared to June as an estimated £6.5 billion was spent at online retailers, an average of £128 per person.

Clothing sales leapt 15 per cent compared to July 2011 and 18 per cent compared to June 2012 as an improvement on wet weather and ongoing promotions and discounts affected consumer confidence.

Electricals performed strongly over the month with a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year as home entertainment centres and the latest digital devices enticed those keen to watch Team GB’s Olympic performance in style.
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.”

Pure-play e-tailers and catalogue retailers also reported growth last month, seeing a 19.5 per cent year-on-year increase on sales compared with their multichannel counterparts who recorded 15 per cent growth for the seventh consecutive month.

Average basket spend at pure-plays rose 23 per cent to an average of £101 while multichannel retailers saw average basket-spend fall one per cent to £198 compared with £200 in July 2011.
Meanwhile, mobile commerce is still seeing remarkable development, with 356% year-on-year growth. At present, m-commerce accounts for about 8% of the total digital income for UK retailers, the index shows.

Explaining the figures Tina Spooner, CIO at IMRG said: “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 per cent 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.”

Source: IMRG/ Capgemini

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