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Online retail sales growth rate doubles in first quarter

Growing disparity observed between smartphone and tablet usage

18th April, 2016 – The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index has revealed positive Q1 online sales growth of 15% (excluding travel) on the same period last year – when growth was up just 8%, the first time the Index had recorded a full quarter of single-digit growth. There was also an increase in the average basket value (ABV) - from £77 (Q1 2015) to £81 (Q1 2016) – following a general decline throughout 2015.

March was a solid month for online sales growth, with the Index increasing 11% and ABVs averaging £82. A strong performance was also witnessed across a number of sectors with accessories performing particularly well, recording a 58% year–on-year (YoY) growth – it’s highest since May 2015.

Spring cleaning was the theme of the month with the standout sector being Home and Garden. This sector exhibited a 26% YoY increase – the sector’s highest increase since February 2014. The sector also recorded an ABV of £93 – the highest since October 2012. The drive in online sales can be attributed to an increase in sales for the Home sub-sector, which recorded annual growth of 33%, compared to the Garden sector, which saw a drop of 12% on the same period last year.

The divergence between tablet and smartphone sales continued, with sales via the latter platform surging ahead with a massive 101% increase year-on-year (excluding travel), compared to just 6% recorded on tablets. In Q1 overall, smartphone usage grew almost nine times that of tablets with 96%, compared to just 11% for tablets – showing this to be part of a wider trend in the sector.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG: “Sales via smartphones continue to surge ahead, growing at 9x the rate of sales completed on tablet devices during the first quarter of the year. There is no doubt that larger screen sizes have enhanced the user experience on smartphones over recent years which is a key factor in the shift towards shopping on these devices.

Smartphone is the fastest growing channel in the UK online retail market - conversion rates were 50% higher in Q1 than the same period last year and average online transaction values reached a record high of £85 during March. Not surprisingly, many retailers are placing a significant focus on their mobile strategy as consumers shift towards handheld devices when purchasing online.”

Richard Tremellen, retail insight and data specialist, Capgemini: “Double digit growth for online sales in Q1 2016 is a hugely positive sign for the sector, and one which is further strengthened by an increase in the average amount spent online during the period. There appears to be a sizeable shift in consumers’ confidence in online shopping."  

-ENDS-

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks 'online sales', which we define as 'transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels' from any location, including in-store.

Over one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including A. Hume Country Clothing, Amara, Appliance House, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct, ASOS.com, B&Q, Berry Bros & Rudd, Blacks, Boden.co.uk, Boots, Brora, Buyagift.com, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Tyrwhitt, Clarks, Clinkards, Crocus.co.uk, Dabs.com, Damart, Debenhams, Deckers, Dunelm Mill, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore, Feelunique.com, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings (Freemans, Grattan, Look Again, Kaleidoscope, Curvissa, Swimear365, Witt International UK), Game, Greenfingers.com, House of Fraser, HouseTrip.co.uk, Jack Wills, JD Sports, JD Williams, John Lewis Partnership, Ladderstore.com, Lakeland Furniture, Liz Earle, LK Bennett, M and M Direct, Made In Design, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer, Millets, Missguided, Moss Bros, Naked Wines, NaturalCollection.com, New Look, Next, Notonthehighstreet.com, Oasis, PetPlanet.co.uk, PetsPyjamas.com, Pink Boutique, Prezzybox.com, QVC, River Island, Rocket Dog, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott, Screwfix.com, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Littlewoods, Very, Very Exclusive), Serenata Flowers, Shoetique, Silentnight, Size, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry, Spirit Boutique, Sunshine.co.uk, Tesco.com, The Body Shop, The Great Gift Company, The White Company, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Universal Music, Waitrose, Within Home, Woods of Shropshire & Wynsors World of Shoes.

About IMRG 

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry. 

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs. 

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

www.imrg.org 

About Capgemini

Now with 180,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2014 global revenues of EUR 10.573 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini