Online retail sales in the UK rose by 18% year-on-year in June 2015, according to the latest data from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Earlier in the year, UK online retailers experienced an unexpected fall, which many attributed to the economic and political uncertainty stirred up by the General Election in May. However, June showed that growth was strong once again with the IMR reporting that the figures added up to the highest recorded growth for the year of 2015, and equated to £9.3 billion in online spending. The report also discovered that the number of deliveries made on time stood at 94.5%.
Commenting on the latest figures, IMRG said: “With a 2.7% increase on May, the results also mark the strongest June month-on-month (MoM) growth since June 2003, reflecting the ongoing increase in UK consumer confidence.”
“The total growth for H1 reached 11%, supported by a much-improved second quarter of the year – the Index recorded an annual increase of 14% between April and June, double the growth experienced during January and March (7%).”
A number of factors have been credited with helping cause the recent boom in online sales, with the Index reporting that the travel and clothing sectors were particularly strong, thanks to the summer weather and holiday preparations. Post-election relief will certainly have resulted in a rise in consumer confidence, combined with sales and promotional activity by retailers after a slight slump at the start of the year.
The growing sector of m-commerce (online shopping on mobile devices) also experienced a further increase of 57% when compared to June last year, with figures showing that sales completed on smartphones were much higher than tablet devices.
Head of E-Logistics at IMRG, Andrew Starkey, believes that the figures bode well for the rest of the year: “After the slowdown we saw last month it is good to see the UK’s online retail sector back on the upswing. If this trend continues we will soon approach our start of year forecast of 13%. July usually delivers a mini-peak on the back of summer spending which should push us even closer to this figure.”
Also shown in the Index was the importance of delivery when it comes to dealing with consumers and piquing their interest. Faster and more flexible delivery options such as paying more for next-day delivery and click and collect services are giving the consumer more control over their orders.
Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, believes these figures show how fast parcel delivery has become an essential part of the customer’s journey: “Focusing on the customer’s parcel delivery needs is essential to building a strong relationship between the retailer and buyer. Providing different options allows retailers to cater to each customer individually, it is then up to retailers to deliver on time as a way of boosting customer confidence and loyalty.”