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Published on March 21st, 2017 | by The GC Team


Online retail sales up 15% in February

UK online retail sales rose 15% year-on-year in February, building on solid growth of 16% in February 2016.

According to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, the average basket value was at a seven-year high for that month of the year, but IMRG said there were some signs that sustaining this rate of growth throughout the whole year may be a challenge.

One of the main drivers for online retail in recent years has been the growth of sales made through smartphones. For the past three months, however, growth through these devices has almost halved year on year — in February 2016 it was up 96%, but in February 2017 it was just 57% up.

IMRG said a sustained slowdown through mobile devices, which is specific to online-only retailers, will come to impact growth rates for online retail overall.

For multichannel retailers, which have both an online and in-store offering, growth in sales made on mobile devices was up slightly year on year, while the average basket value of online retail sales in general rose by nearly £20.

In electricals, sales were up +1.5%, following two months of negative growth, but the average basket value fell £8 year on year.

Justin Opie, managing director for IMRG, said: “It’s encouraging to see the second month of seven-year highs for average basket values in a row. When it comes to smartphones though, the slowdown in sales growth does appear to be fairly dramatic. That said, rates of smartphone growth over the past two years have been very high, and that couldn’t continue indefinitely.”

Opie added that the outlook remains positive, “but perhaps with a cloud or two on the horizon,” he said.  “Smartphones have been the driver of mobile growth, and the slowdown could come to impact growth. And, of course, the ever-present uncertainty of Brexit looms large in 2017, with inflation rising and Article 50 being triggered imminently.”

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Get Connected is the top trade journal for the UK electricals industry. Its website is the fastest, most interesting and up to date in the business.

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