The UK’s online retail market witnessed a 13 per cent increase in business year-on-year during February, just in line with a forecast of 12 per cent for the year as a whole.
Both readings come courtesy of the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which recorded double-digit growth for nearly all sectors involved in UK e-commerce.
Valentine’s Day had a hugely positive impact for e-retail as Gifts, Health & Beauty and Lingerie sectors grew by 36 per cent, eight per cent and nine per cent respectively, with an increasing proportion of customers making an online payment via a mobile device.
Sales of products on smartphones and tablets were up 304 per cent on 2011, while myhermes1.co.uk says this method of purchase grew by 184 per cent year-on-year.
Other results from IMRG and Capgemini show UK stores recording better conversion rates on mobile compared with previous years. During 2011 the average rate was one per cent, but the total moved two per cent in November 2012. Retailers welcomed a high of 2.6 per cent in January 2013, with the rate in February only dropping to 2.3 per cent.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, commented: “The mobile growth rate has slowed by around a third over the last three months or so compared with 2012, which is perhaps inevitable after the boom in tablet sales last year that has no doubt driven it.”
Referring to the year-on-year growth and cited by kamcity.com, she added: “As the use of mobile devices as internet portals has also become widespread, it has turned mobile into a viable sales channel as evidenced by the rise in conversion rate.”
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