Online sales pass £100 billion for the first time ever

£104 billion was spent by British consumers online in 2014, the first time this has ever happened, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Online sales in 2014 increased by 14 per cent compared with the previous year, and purchases are forecast to rise by another 12 per cent in 2015, reports Around £1 of every £4 spent by Britons is now done so online. Sales are partly being driven by big discount events, such as Black Friday, which was the busiest shopping day ever in 2014, during which some £810 million was spent online.

In December, online sales only grew by five per cent, mostly because Black Friday had helped encourage people to do their Christmas shopping early. However, between November 2 and December 27, £21.6 billion was spent by UK consumers online – a 13 per cent annual increase, reports

The figures also show that shopping online using tablets and smartphones is becoming more popular, as sales made via the devices rose by 55 per cent in 2014. This highlights the importance of Wi-Fi, as without it many consumers would struggle to do their shopping on the move.

Adgild Hop, head of retail consulting at Capgemini, said 2014 was an “important milestone” for the online shopping sector.

“When we consider that almost £1 in every £4 is now spent online, and that a large proportion of the other £3 is influenced by some form of digital interaction, it becomes very clear that retailers need to continue to embrace the opportunity that e-retail poses,” he explained.

“Additionally, we need to be cautious about the tendency of retailers to chase sales volumes at the expense of customer intimacy and profitability.”

Author: Laura Varley