Following a disappointing September, the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index show online sales back on track, recording annual growth of 14% in October – you can read the full press release here.
The Index grew 7% month-on-month: the highest level of growth between September and October for four years. An estimated £8.8 billion was spent online in October, the highest market value since December 2013, suggesting that the 2014 Christmas shopping period has started.
The growth of the Index was boosted by a number of key sectors, with sales of clothes making the most impact. After its lowest ever annual growth in September (just 0.3%), sales of clothes were up 13.5% year-on-year. Lingerie recorded a similar performance, with a 40% jump on the same period last year.
According to Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, “the welcome return to double-digit growth last month follows the poor September results, when the online retail industry was adversely affected by the unseasonably mild autumn temperatures. Excluding the Travel sector, e-retail sales growth is in line with our growth forecast for 2014 at 17% year-to-date and we expect this solid performance to continue for the remainder of the year.
“Despite the fact we appear to be seeing a levelling off in consumer confidence, a number of factors indicate that the online retail industry is likely to see a strong festive trading period. E-retailers appear to be more confident in their growth predictions for the fourth quarter, shoppers are spending more per online transaction than last year and our latest research reveals almost half of consumers will order gifts online less than a week before Christmas Day.”
Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, at Capgemini, commented, “multichannel retailers have been shifting their investments into digital strategies over the last few years, including sophisticated CRM platforms. This has enabled them to provide their customers with a joined up and integrated offering across all of their channels, something which is clearly having a positive influence on sales. As we fast approach the busy Christmas period, it will be interesting to see whether the online only retailers, which are typically able to compete in terms of cost, will be able to close this gap.”
Coverage has appeared in Retail Week, Retail Times and Essential Retail. Retail Systems reported ‘Online back on track as Xmas looms large‘:
“Online sales have rebounded following a disappointing September, recording annual growth of 14 per cent in October. The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index was up seven per cent month-on-month, the best performance between September and October for four years. Excluding travel, the UK online retail sector rose by 16 per cent YoY, resulting in year-to-date growth of 17 per cent. An estimated £8.8 billion was spent online in October, the highest market value since December 2013 as Christmas starts to kick in. This performance was mirrored on mobile, with sales made on smartphones and tablet devices in October, recording 43 per cent annual growth and an 11 per cent increase on September.”