New BRC Figures Highlight Online Shopping Trends

New figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have shown that online sales in July increased by 14.7% when compared to the same month in 2014.

According to this month’s BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor, in July of this year, online transactions made up 17.6% of all non-food sales, an increase compared to July 2014 when this figure stood at 16.5%.

The research found that footwear was the fastest growing category, and had achieved its best sales performance this year since December 2012, when the BRC’s records began. Sales of furniture also grew at the quickest rate on record, followed closely by homeware, which also experienced significant growth.

Director General of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, commented on the statistics: “July saw a continuation of strong online sales growth, up 14.7%, driven by robust performance across fashion, home and health, and beauty. These categories all responded well to summer sales and promotions which in some cases were later than last year.”

Usually, a rise in online shopping may often be accompanied by a dip in sales at traditional high street stores, but this proved not to be the case. During the three months leading up to July 2015, both online and in-store channels made a relatively equal contribution to non-food growth, although a closer look at the statistics reveals that the contribution by high street stores exceeded online.

“In some cases online is helping to drive shoppers back into stores which often inspires impulse purchases,” Helen Dickinson continued. “This may help explain why bricks and mortar stores contributed slightly more of the overall sales growth than online in the three months to July.”

The statistics show how online shopping can act as an enabler for growth across all channels, including click-and-collect and mobile commerce. Online sales data has given retailers an insight into their customers’ habits, helping them to deliver a personalised experience in-store; promoting more sales.

Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes the figures show how retailers must develop their online stores in order to improve sales across all their channels: “These figures show just how important online sales are to a store. Retailers should focus on improving their customers’ online experience as much as possible, from a smooth user journey to speedy and reliable parcel delivery, if they are also to keep their high street stores thriving.”

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