Mobile Commerce Drives UK Online Sales to Record High

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The UK's online retail sales exceeded expectations in December with the IMRG Capgemini e Retail Sales Index recording 18% year on year growth as a result of British shoppers spending £11 billion online.

Much of this success can be attributed to the growing influence of mobile-retail in 2013, with sales via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) increasing 138% on 2012. As with the wider e-retail sector, a strong year for m-retail was topped by a very strong performance during December, with 27% of all online sales coming from a mobile device, equating to £3 billion. This is twice as much spent during the same time the year before.

According to the Index, 82% of mobile sales came from tablet devices. However, smartphones saw sales increase 186% in 2013, compared to an equally impressive 131% via tablet devices.

Sector performance

This strong performance in December was recorded across the Index and not limited to just one particular sector. Clothing and electrical goods recorded particularly solid results, with a year-on-year increase of 17% in clothing and 18% in electricals, fuelled by the popularity of new budget tablet devices, iPhone models and gaming platforms.

Click and Collect's influence on sector performance

The increase in m-commerce has been supported by the growth of services such as click/reserve and collect, which have taken a prominent role in the shopping cycle. According to the Index, purchasing/reserving online and collecting in store, now accounts for 25% of multichannel retailers' sales. Multi-channel retailers, those with both an online and high-street presence, recorded a month-on-month growth of 16% in December.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG said: "With online shopping having become part of our everyday lives, the growth levels we are seeing in the e-retail market won't be slowing down any time soon. We predict that the UK online retail market will achieve 17% year-on-year growth during 2014 and we also expect the £100 billion threshold will be broken, with a staggering £107 billion predicted to be spent online in the UK alone this year."

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Tags: mobile commerce  UK 

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