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IMRG insight

Our insight articles offer a unique view of online retail trends, with an expert and neutral perspective on industry best practice.

We’ve been tracking UK online sales since 2000, and we cover the key issues for online retailers with a thorough knowledge of how the online retail landscape has evolved.

We analyse the latest data and offer a deep understanding of market developments, so you can keep your finger on the online retail pulse.

Understanding shopper expectations around delivery – survey

Understanding shopper expectations around delivery – survey

24/03/2017

We’re now conducting our ninth annual Consumer Home Delivery Review, supported by Blackbay and maru/edr. This 50-question survey provides a highly comprehensive view of what shoppers want and expect from online delivery

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Five things we learned from IMRG’s performance management forum

Five things we learned from IMRG’s performance management forum

09/03/2017

On March 2nd 2017, Thunderhead hosted our latest Performance Management Forum in their London offices. We discussed our latest Quarterly Benchmark results and the latest in performance management with IMRG members from a range of online retail sectors.

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Online fashion: customer retention rates still lag

Online fashion: customer retention rates still lag

15/02/2017

Looking at our latetst data, active retention rates for the clothing sector are lagging behind the rate for total online retail. What are the factors behind this trend and is there anything retailers can do to improve?

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Analysis of a new delivery peak trend

Analysis of a new delivery peak trend

08/02/2017

In 2016, we recorded a notable shift in the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index over the peak Christmas trading period. The month-on-month order volume growth between November and December 2016 was just +4.5% – far lower than the equivalent in 2015.

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What can retailers learn from the growth in active customer retention?

What can retailers learn from the growth in active customer retention?

31/01/2017

We’ve seen a 67% increase in online retail customer retention rates in the last 6 years. This trend, while remarkable, is perhaps not surprising. If a retailer can persuade existing customers to keep buying, the purchases that follow don’t come with the margin-eating cost-per-acquisition of new customers.

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Abandonment issues – website performance Q3 2016

Abandonment issues – website performance Q3 2016

11/01/2017

Q3 2016 saw an average checkout abandonment rate of of more than 30%, according to the latest IMRG Quarterly Benchmark. That’s up from the previous quarter's figures, and a year earlier in Q3 2015.

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A record high for multichannel click & collect in Q3 2016

A record high for multichannel click & collect in Q3 2016

15/12/2016

The latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmark reported an all-time high in click & collect orders for multichannel retailers in Q3, with the average percentage of sales using this fulfilment option (either in-store or through third-party solutions) reaching 29.3%. It’s also the largest quarterly increase that we have tracked since Q2 2013, and is up a full 6 percentage points on Q3 of last year.

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What did we learn from Black Friday 2016?

What did we learn from Black Friday 2016?

29/11/2016

As it’s shown over the past few years, Black Friday has a remarkable capacity for behaving in ways that no-one expected and shifting in size and scale – and this year appears to have been no exception.

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Do shoppers want more technology in-store?

Do shoppers want more technology in-store?

10/11/2016

How can we know what technology to use in-store? Customers say that they want one thing but what do they really respond to?

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Multichannel and online-only sales growth – what’s the difference?

Multichannel and online-only sales growth – what’s the difference?

10/11/2016

In a report published in August – A Multichannel Growth Disparity – we analysed a shift in fortunes that we had recorded in growth rates for the multichannel and online-only retailer categories. How is the gap in sales growth developing between the two categories?

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Video interview with IMRG chairman and founder James Roper

Video interview with IMRG chairman and founder James Roper

03/11/2016

In this interview from Lengow Ecommerce Day 2016, IMRG chairman and founder James Roper talks about Brexit, marketplaces and online retail trends. What are the underlying factors for the UK's advanced ecommerce market?

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Xmas Peak Trading 2016: 6 Unanswered Questions for Retailers to Consider

Xmas Peak Trading 2016: 6 Unanswered Questions for Retailers to Consider

03/11/2016

We’re into November – traditionally the time of year when online retail order volumes start their gradual ascent as we approach the peak shopping period over late November / early December. Black Friday has disrupted that trend, having become very strongly embedded in the shopper mindset in 2014. The Xmas shopping peak is no longer a gradual build-up and easing-off in sales volumes, but a far more compressed experience.

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Return rate at highest for two years

Return rate at highest for two years

03/11/2016

The ‘percentage of units returned’ metric from the Quarterly Benchmark reached a two-year high in Q2 2016 (covering the period May to July – see note on quarters below) – so what’s going on here, are return rates increasing or was this a temporary blip?

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Trend watch - August 2016

Trend watch - August 2016

04/08/2016

We know you are very busy people – so each month we now provide a summary of the recent trends we’ve been tracking to ensure you didn’t miss anything. This edition is July reporting June data.

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Key trends affecting online retail in 2016

Key trends affecting online retail in 2016

03/08/2016

We asked our members at the IMRG Peak Connect Conference in June which trends they think retailers should be aware of in 2016. Watch this short video to see what they had to say.

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Black Friday 2016 predictions - How should retailers prepare?

Black Friday 2016 predictions - How should retailers prepare?

01/08/2016

We asked our members at the IMRG Peak Connect Conference in June about their predictions for this year’s Black Friday period and how they should prepare for peak. Watch this short video to see what they had to say.

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IMRG Brexit Poll

IMRG Brexit Poll

12/07/2016

IMRG questioned 23 senior ecommerce professionals (Heads of Ecommerce, CEOs, Managing Directors and Marketing Directors) between 6th and 8th July, two weeks after the EU referendum. The respondents include both multichannel and online-only merchants. The retailers were asked if they have experienced any slowdown in sales following the Brexit vote and also whether they have seen any increase in traffic and/or sales from international customers.

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What logistics trends can we expect to impact peak this year?

What logistics trends can we expect to impact peak this year?

06/07/2016

What logistics trends can we expect to impact peak this year? We recently published our preview report for peak 2016, supported by Salmon.

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Brexit – one week on

Brexit – one week on

01/07/2016

It has now been a week since we found out that the UK had voted to leave the EU. It would therefore be tempting to begin this article by saying ‘now that the dust has settled’ but there are still so many unanswered questions that quantifying the likely impact of Brexit is impossible – at the moment we have no firm date for submitting the official confirmation of our decision to the EU, what the timeline for leaving will be, what trade deals will be put in place, who the prime minister will be, whether there will be a second referendum…

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What people think about Black Friday

What people think about Black Friday

29/06/2016

At our Peak Connect conference a few weeks back we ran some live research with Toluna – asking 1,000 people a few questions about peak and Black Friday, to help inform debate at the event. Here is what we found from this research.

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