Online sales boost retail growth


The UK experienced strong growth in the retail market, in thanks partly to the healthy growth in online sales of non-food products.

Growth in online sales of non-food products grew in the UK by 11.7% in January, compared to the previous year. Online sales represented 18.4% of total non-food sales, compared to 16.8% in January 2014.

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "Online sales had a strong January, bolstered by seasonal sales campaigns and targeted marketing drives. This side of retailers’ business has a leading role to play in driving overall sales growth, with more shoppers than ever choosing the convenience of buying online."

"In order to significantly move the dial substantial spend is needed to improve the robustness of retailers’ systems and improve the experience for customers. Retailers’ online operations warrant the lion’s share of their investment budgets this year."

The second fastest growing category in January was toys and baby equipment, experiencing its best growth since is became an RSM category in June 2014. Additionally, footwear also experienced its best performance since December 2012.

Steve Rivers, CEO of Intelligent Reach, said: "It’s not surprising to hear the number of purchases now made online. The convenience and increasing sophistication of retailers’ online stores means that shoppers can now get as good an experience online as they can in-store."

"Ecommerce will continue to grow at a rapid pace, especially as the multichannel consumer emerges. Mobile browsing, for example, exceeded traditional browsing across retail earlier this year, indicating changing tools for buying online.

"As such, it’s crucial for retailers to think carefully about their ongoing ecommerce strategies to maximise overall profitability at a product level."

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Online sales for January tend to be strong with people enjoying surfing for online bargains after the busy frenzy of Christmas shopping. With the January penetration rate only second to November this shows just how popular online sales were."

"As websites continue to improve with more stock being listed online it is not a surprise that we loved buying online this January. We were particularly enthusiastic about buying shoes online as over £1 in every £3 of footwear purchases was spent online, perhaps because we could see immediately whether our size was still available in the sales. Retailers who have invested in an omni-channel strategy will certainly take comfort in these figures."



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