UK online retailers see 11% growth

Research by IMRG and Capgemini suggests that UK online retailers saw overall year on year growth of 11% with a 12% increase in sales through the festive season. This reinforces the perception that shoppers are moving from the high street to online retail outlets at a great rate.

The IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index suggests that 27% of shopping in the UK is now done online, and that an increasing number of people are shopping using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 45% of sales were done on a mobile device in the third quarter of 2015.

The Black Friday week beginning on November 22 saw the biggest peak in sales, with £4.3bn spent online in that week. Overall the market is worth £114bn annually to the UK economy, and experts predict that this will be as much as £126bn in the coming year.

Chief Information Officer at IMRG Tina Spooner said of the research, “With December being the wettest since records began, it appears the unseasonal weather together with growth in mobile commerce helped to boost online sales over the festive period.

“As we observed in 2014, the effect of Black Friday resulted in November being the peak month for the online retail industry as consumers brought forward much of their Christmas spending, no doubt boosted by promotional activity around Black Friday.”

Meanwhile, Head of Digital at Capgemini Alex Smith-Bingham said, “We also saw mobile confirm its role as a primary shopping channel, providing consumers with an unprecedented level of convenience. In 2016 I’m confident we’ll see this influence increase even further, with mobile representing over half of all sales made online.”

After the shock last year around Black Friday, the industry seems to be getting prepared for annual spikes, and is investing heavily in capacity. With recent signs that the economy as a whole is taking a dip, e-commerce may well buck the overall trend in the year to come.