Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Essential Retail Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Slowdown in online sales growth continues in February

The relatively slow start to the year for UK online retail continued in February, with year-on-year sales up 6% on the same month one year before.

Figures from the e-Retail Sales Index, which is compiled by e-tail trade association IMRG and consultancy group Capgemini, showed that online trading was down 12% on January, which itself was reported to have shown sluggish annual growth.

Capgemini suggested that it is too early to tell whether February's results are indicative of a new pattern of steady muted growth or simply a blip, but sales are expected to improve in March – particularly in the clothing category – as the increasingly warmer weather tempts shoppers into updating their wardrobes.

Online clothing sales were up just 4% year-on-year in February, compared to a much healthier 20% annual rise in trading in February 2014. Other sectors performed more positively in February, with gifts, lingerie and health & beauty all seeing significant increases in online trading activity.

The alcohol sector also enjoyed strong growth in February, with online sales surging 42% on the same period last year: the highest annual increase recorded for this particular sector since April 2011.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, commented: "While the UK online retail market has seen a relatively weak start to the year, the latest results reveal a number of lower-ticket sectors performed well during February, including health & beauty, lingerie and gifts, which were no doubt boosted by Valentine's Day.

"It is interesting to see that the high street/multichannel retailers have seen a stronger start to 2015 than their online-only counterparts, with online retail sales up 8% year-to-date, while the latter group have recorded just 2% year-on-year growth.

"However, looking at the mobile commerce performance of these two groups, it is clear that the pure-play merchants are ahead, with annual growth in sales via smartphones and tablets reaching an average of 89% over the past six months, almost three times the growth rate recorded by the multichannel retailers."

Click below for more information:

IMRG

Capgemini

What’s Hot on Essential Retail?