The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveals that UK online retail sites enjoyed a strong Q1, with sales up 15% on the same period last year. And despite the recent unseasonal weather, clothing sales put in a solid performance in March in contrast to a lacklustre performance on the high street.
Whilst footfall on the high street witnessed a dip in March, according to the latest figures from The British Retail Consortium, online sales have enjoyed a strong start to the year. Offline, footfall was 5.2% lower in March compared to the same point last year, as the prolonged cold snap deterred shoppers from hitting the high street. By contrast, online sales were up 15% in March with clothing sales one of the strongest performers. Analysts have put the increase down to retailers who wanted to clear stock, as well as consumers buying cold weather wear online.
Commenting on the findings, Chris Webster, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini said, “Despite the various challenges facing the wider retail sector, such as the weather and its subsequent impact on high street footfall, online is continuing to show its resilience. As retailers continue to develop multichannel offerings and improve mobile services in line with an ever evolving technology, the high street will struggle to match the performance of their online counterparts.”
Sales via mobile devices saw the strongest growth in four months, despite a drop in average conversion rates, suggesting that consumers are using their smartphones to research products rather than as a purely transactional channel.
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