Online retail sales back on track after June dip

UK online retail sales increased by 14% year on year in July, with an estimated £8.1 billion spent during the month.

Data from the e-Retail Sales Index, compiled by e-tail trade body IMRG and professional services firm Capgemini, shows that online retail trading activity was up 3% compared to June, when month-on-month sales had dropped 5%.

The electricals and travel sectors saw particularly strong growth, with year-on-year sales up by 19% and 13% respectively, while home & garden reported a sales increase of 17% as the UK experienced its driest July for almost a decade.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said that July's online sales figures suggest that June's slowdown in trading activity was "merely a blip".

"It is evident that consumers are now spending more money online, and the increase in high-ticket purchases including electrical items, furniture and holidays, indicates that consumer confidence is certainly increasing," she explained.

"The UK online retail industry is, once again, performing close to our growth forecast and we are still on track to see in excess of £100 billion spent online for the first time this year."

With consumers becoming increasingly comfortable using mobile devices to make purchases online and with a growing number of retailers optimising their websites for mobile, there are now greater opportunities than ever for people to shop online.

Indeed, a survey published last week by comparison website suggested that nearly one in five people have drunkenly shopped online – with one in 10 of these using their credit card to foot the bill.

Just under a quarter of  respondents admitted that they have spent between £100-200 when drunk online, prompting a warning from's head of credit cards Nerys Lewis.

"Consumers need to be careful that purchases made when drunk don't cause them financial problems in the future," she explained.

"With the last bank holiday of the summer coming up, Brits might be even more tempted to go out and have a few drinks."

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