Good news for ecommerce as figures report a dramatic rise in online spending in July, the fastest rate of increase in three years.
The online retail sector has been enjoying continued growth throughout the first half of 2010. But the latest results from the IMRG and Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index indicate that the rise in July was even greater than expected.
Online consumers in the UK spent an estimated £5 billion in July, or approximately £81 per head. That’s an impressive increase of 18% compared to June 2009, when total sales were £4.2 billion. The figures also represent growth of 14% when compared to June 2010, the highest monthly upturn of the year so far.
According to Chris Webster, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini, the figures show a return of customer confidence to pre-recession levels. Webster welcomed the news suggesting that “although online retail sales survived the recession more convincingly than high street sales, the last two years or so have no doubt been shaky at times.”
What are the reasons for the marked growth in e-retail? Some sources, including the BBC, have suggested the British summer may have encouraged shoppers to stay indoors. Indeed with rainfall at twice its average value for the time of year, hopeful travellers logged on to take advantage of last minute deals on holidays and escape to sunnier climes. As a result, the online travel sector enjoyed a growth of a third compared to July 2009.
For David Smith, Managing Director of IMRG, the new figures are a result of changing consumer behaviour. He stated: “with over half of the UK population online at least once a day it is no surprise that online sales continue to grow impressively year on year.”
Smith asserted that now is not the time for online businesses to rest on their laurels: “The evidence mounts that high street retailers will need to invest more in their online business and put it at the heart of their retail strategy. Online retailers, on the other hand, will need to continue to innovate as they strive to close the growth gap.”