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December online spend to exceed £10bn as 5-year high conversion rate expected

05 Nov 2013

Looking at the final 9-week period of the year (covering November and December), the estimated spend will total £20.4bn.

We anticipate that the peak period will cover the weeks commencing 2nd and 9th December, where the sales activity on retail websites will be at its highest.

The busiest day overall in terms of sales volume will be Monday 2nd December, although the peak day does vary by retailer. Last month we surveyed around 50 retailers and asked when they thought the peak day would be on their sites. As this chart shows, the results are spread over several weeks, with the majority actually expecting week commencing 9th December to be their peak week.

We also anticipate that the average conversion rate across all devices will hit a 5-year high of 5% in Q4. This follows three successive quarters of increased conversion rates compared with the same periods last year:

  • Q1 2013 – up 0.2 percentage points on the same quarter in 2012
  • Q2 2013 – up 0.6 percentage points on the same quarter in 2012
  • Q3 2013 – up 0.7 percentage points on the same quarter in 2012

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG: “For the first time in 3 years we expect annual e-retail growth to exceed the level recorded in the previous year, with 2013 sales on target to achieve 15% growth on last year.  The increase in the number of browsers that convert to buyers is also positive news for retailers as they gear up for the key festive trading period, with the average conversion rate expected to reach pre-recession levels during the fourth quarter.

Already we are seeing a number of retailers ramping up their online offering in the run up to Christmas. Click & Collect, next day delivery and even one-hour delivery slots are just a few of the options on offer to attract the lucrative festive shopper at this highly competitive time of year.

Chris Webster, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini: “The impact of mobile devices in 2013 has been very significant, and this forecast is in direct response to the overwhelming growth we have seen in sales via tablets and smartphones over the last few years. The huge strides in technology and the improved mobile services from retailers, such as digital wallets, mobile coupons and location based services, have all played a major role in driving growth through these channels. Improved mobile sites have made shopping on the move much easier, so we are also seeing an increase in click & collect services.
2013 has seen the introduction of several lower range tablet devices, such as Tesco’s Hudl and Argos’ MyTablet, both of which will be at the top of millions of Christmas lists this year, so we can expect to see mobile growth increase even further in 2014.

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About IMRG
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit or email
About Capgemini
With more than 125,000 people in 44 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2012 global revenues of EUR 10.3 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.
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