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IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Christmas comes early for online retailers as sales top £10bn in November

17 Dec 2013

London – The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed a better than expected performance for online retail in November, with sales topping an estimated £10.1 billion; the most the Index has ever recorded in a single month. The Index grew 20% on the same period last year, and 30% on October’s performance (the highest monthly increase in 10 years) indicating shoppers are buying their Christmas gifts earlier than usual.
Multichannel retailers, those with both an online and a high-street presence, reported annual growth of 23%, compared to the 16% recorded by the online only brands. This strong growth has been spurred by festive shoppers looking to their usual High Street brands when shopping online.
The launch of a range of budget tablet devices, as well as the release of the new iPhone and iPad, had a significant impact on the electrical sector in November, recording a month-on-month increase of 63%; the highest monthly growth since the launch of the Index. Home and garden also recorded a particularly strong month, with annual like-for-like growth reaching 42%.
The Index revealed that conversion rates for e-retail as a whole continue to see an upward trend, with 5.24% recorded in November, the highest conversion rate since April 2009.
Chris Webster, VP, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini: “These results are particularly strong and give a clear indication of what we can expect to see during the peak shopping weeks in December.
“E-retail continues to be the growth engine of an otherwise struggling retail sector and as online spending exceeds  £10 billion in one month, we can see just how integral the online and mobile channels have become to the shopping experience. With the introduction of great value tablet devices offering better accessibility than ever before, the sector is only set to rocket in 2014.”
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG: “While the overall Index performance was ahead of our expectations during November, it seems the strong online growth recorded by the high street retailers is being driven by the prominent promotion of their multichannel offering. We often see ‘online | mobile | in-store’ as the potential channels for engagement in retailer adverts.
“Over recent months we have seen a plethora of budget tablet devices entering the market, resulting in a rise in the number of so-called “sofa surfers”, and with the rapid adoption of these popular devices set to continue over Christmas, we are likely to see this growth trend continue next year as more consumers shift to handheld devices to shop online. Our latest research shows that just over half (51%) of UK online retailers currently have a tablet optimised website, and with tablet shoppers being more likely to make a purchase than smartphone users and also spending more per transaction, we are likely to see more retailers investing in tablet optimisation during 2014.”
Industry View:
Mark Lewis, Online Director at John Lewis, said: “November was a strong month for, breaking several records. We more than doubled our previous record for a single day’s trade on on ‘Black Friday’, with mobile orders more than three times the record for a single day and ended that week 19.4 per cent higher than our previous biggest week.

“With Christmas trade gaining momentum through the month, was up 24% on the year in November, slightly ahead of our 20% growth for the half year to date. Our mobile sales are over 100% up on the year as customers continue to change the ways in which they shop. Notable is that online now accounts for 33% of John Lewis’s overall trade, against 25% during the 2012 Christmas period.”

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About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’
The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location, including in-store. 
Over one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including A. Hume Country Clothing, Addict, Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Amara, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct,, B&Q, Bank, Berry Bros & Rudd,, Blacks,,, Boots Direct, Boutique to You, Brora,, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt,  Clarks, Cocosa,,, Damart, Debenhams, Dune, Dunelm Mill, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings (Freemans, Grattan, Look Again, Kaleidoscope, Curvissa, Swimear365, Witt International UK), Game, Gamestation, Get The Label, Getting,, Home & Cook, House of Fraser, JD Sports, J D Williams, John Lewis Partnership,,, LK Bennett,, M and M Direct, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Millets, Moss Bros, Naked Wines,, New Look, Next, Perfect Handbags Perricone MD,, Philip Kingsley, PIXmania,, Purely Gadgets, QVC, Redfoot Revolution, Richer Sounds, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott,, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Brand Quarter, Kays, Littlewoods, Very, Isme, Woolworths), Serenata Flowers, Size, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry,, SuperGA,, The Body Shop,  The Mat Factory, The Natural Skincare Co, The Natural Store, The White Company, This is Pulp, ToxicFox, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Waitrose, Wilkinson Hardware & Wynsors World of Shoes.
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 130,000 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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