The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has just been released (March 20, 2012) — & offers some interesting insights into the current retail landscape, both online and high-street.
- UK ecommerce sales saw the weakest growth in two years in February; however:
- Online-only retailers’ growth exceeds multichannel.
Analysts had been predicting a slowdown for total retail sales for the first months of 2012, on the heels of a normal spike in sales in December due to holiday spending (http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/retail-sales-pick-up-in-december/3033445.article). January offered up an online surprise: 16% year-on-year growth as shoppers spent £6bn through online channels. (http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/retail-sales-jump-in-january/4000148.article).
And now according to the IMRG, shoppers spent £5.4bn online in February. Despite being the weakest growth for this channel in two years, it still marks an achievement for this channel, in context of the 0.3% fall in total UK retail sales reported by the British Retail Consortium earlier this month. Recent figures from The Office of National Statistics confirms that retail sales in February 2012 are the worst trading performance in nine months.
There is speculation that the online channel’s growth is spurred by e-tailers’ penchant for rapid innovation, and leveraging of other alternative channels (e.g., mobile and “click n’ collect”).
In related news, the 2012 WorldPay e-Commerce Basket survey sheds light on UK consumer’s spending habits.
- UK’s online shoppers spend an average of £3,370 annually;
- Sixty percent buy online up to three times a month, while 40% buy at least once a week;
- 10% buy 10 times or more in the course of a month;
- Men on average tend to spend more than women.
It appears that consumer confidence with the on-line channel is increasing, which is confirmed by yet another recent analyst report. The Boston Consulting Group predicts that 23% of UK retail sales will be made online by 2016, and online revenues will total $230bn (£144.6bn). Also, it suggests that UK ecommerce will more than double in value from $102bn in 2010, when the sector accounted for 13.5% of UK retail sales.