UK online sales soared in February after the extreme Beast from the East weather cold snap forced consumers indoors
According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index sales in February were up 13.1% year-on-year.
Despite the strong sales however, the overall market conversion rate (the percentage of site visitors that complete a purchase) was 4.2%, down from 4.6% last year.
The conversion rates for both multichannel and online retailers also came in lower than February 2017.
However, the average basket value (ABV) rose by £11 in comparison to last February.
Meanwhile, smartphone growth remained strong at +38.5% on last year, but is slowing when compared to the +57% growth of last year.
Tablets, on the other hand, continued their now 4-month long decline trend, decreasing -6.7% year-on-year, a record low for this device type.
Some sectors performed notably well this February. Health & Beauty grew by +33.85% year-on-year - its highest growth in the last 5 years. In addition, Clothing continues to show strong year-on-year growth, up +14.9%, with accessories and footwear the top performers within this at +22.3% and +20.4% respectively.
Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement, Capgemini
said: “February's sales patterns clearly demonstrate the power of extreme weather on shopping habits; as people avoid the high street in favour of cosier shopping from their well-heated living rooms. As the snowy weather continued well into March we anticipate a continuation of this trend in next month's results.”