IMRG Capgemini – January sales up 12%

UK e-commerce saw growth of 12% year on year to January, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

According to IMRG this was a ‘steady start’ to the year, building on a solid performance in January 2016 (which saw growth of 15% by comparison to January 2015).

The IMRG report suggested that the Average Basket Value (ABV) for online retailers hit £85, up from £79 in 2015 and the highest value for a January since 2010.

Growth wasn’t even across the board. Clothing, gifts and accessories for example, saw a rise in ABV but the electricals sector saw a major fall of 12% to £129.

Clothing retailers saw growth of 11% while the gifts sector saw a 62% jump in sales.

Justin Opie, managing director of IMRG, commented: “January’s figures reveal a steady start to the year, but 2017 is not without its challenges for online retailers. The most pressing one relates to the devaluation of the pound following Brexit, as it means price rises are looming for an industry where retailers often get pressured into a cycle of discounting to stimulate sales activity among customers. One area where we may see a big impact is electricals – already having a tough time online with sales growth down -8.5% in January and the average basket tumbling. Sonos, Microsoft and Apple among others have recently announced big price hikes of 20% and over to come, so retailers in this sector may continue to have a difficult period to navigate going forward.”

Bhavesh Unadkat, Principal Consultant in Retail Customer Engagement Design, Capgemini: “A growth rate of +12% for online retail is pretty strong. However, when compared with the growth rate for the last quarter, it has certainly steadied.  The rise in inflation will raise caution among shoppers and with price hikes expected across petrol, electricals and food, this caution will remain for some time to come.  The focus for retailers in 2017 should be on ensuring they can capture as much of the UK market share as they can, as well as exploiting international sales, should the pound weaken.”  
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