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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Christmas shopping in full swing

Sunday November 28 2010

IMRG e-Retail Index finds sales up by 23% compared to last October   The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that shoppers in the UK spent a total of £5.2 billion online during October (with year-on-year growth of 23%), equivalent to £85 per person. This is the highest October growth recorded since pre-recession levels.  

IMRG e-Retail Index finds sales up by 23% compared to last October

 

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that shoppers in the UK spent a total of £5.2 billion online during October (with year-on-year growth of 23%), equivalent to £85 per person. This is the highest October growth recorded since pre-recession levels.

 

Beating expectations and trumping sales on the High Street, sales so far this year have grown by 17% compared to the same period in 2009, with shoppers spending £46 billion online since January.

 

The 33% increase for the clothing sector is the highest year-on-year growth in 2010 for this sector, as Britons splashed out on Christmas party outfits and presents for friends and family. The gifts sector grew by a huge 76% in October compared to September, indicative of the start of the Christmas buying surge and a trend seen in previous years. As people rushed to finish off home improvements before Christmas, the home and garden sector grew 22% compared to the previous month.

 

E-retailers must ‘up’ their game

 

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said: “The market continues to grow ahead of our expectations and this is a crucial time for e-retailers to beat the competition by using innovative strategies and tactical promotions in the run up to Christmas. The web is consistently seen as the place to go for bargains and retailers with an online presence should use this to their advantage.”

 

Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, commented: “October was another strong month for online retailers, with Britons spending £1 billion more online than the same month last year. Sales of clothing were particularly strong with this sector consistently outperforming the total e-retail market during 2010.

 

“As retailers gear up for the lucrative festive trading period, the evidence from the Index suggests those with a strong online presence will reap the rewards over the coming months.”

 

Sales for multichannel retailers (those with an online, as well as a High Street, presence) continued to grow at a faster pace than online only retailers; growth was 28% and 16% respectively. An estimated £3.1 billion was spent online through multichannel retailers in October, and £2.1 billion spent at online only retailers.

 

Time and value-sensitive season

 

Mark Lewis, chief executive of fulfilment specialist Collect+, added: “These statistics seem to show that consumers are trying to spread the cost of Christmas over several paydays and increasingly going online to help reduce the cost, which is helping e-retailers avoid a predicted dip in consumer confidence. However, there remain some difficulties ahead for online and multichannel retailers.

 

“A strike ballot by Royal Mail managers this month could herald significant disruption over the busiest shopping and delivery period. Retailers need to ensure they are able to still get gifts to people in spite of any disruption, and offer their customers sufficient choice to pick a delivery or returns service that will remain reliable and get presents to them in time for Christmas.”

 

John Smith chief executive of GettingPersonal.co.uk, added: “October has seen our number of visitors increased by over 35% year-on-year, with a steady increase of Christmas-related traffic starting to dominate. Our analysis shows that customers are looking early for unique and original Christmas gift ideas that don’t cost huge prices. We strive to deliver what our customers really want and combined with excellent customer service and a fantastic product portfolio, this growth is set to continue through the Christmas period and into 2011.”