Online sales jumped 22% in May

Total sales online increased by 22 per cent in May compared to last year – the highest growth since June 2008, according to the latest results from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Shoppers spent £4.5billion online during the month, equivalent to £73 for every person in the UK. The index shows a three per cent increase in sales in May, compared to April this year.?

There was a 23 per cent increase in alcohol sales compared to last year as shoppers stocked up on booze ahead of the World Cup. This was fuelled by discounted prices being offered by many retailers. Sales of electrical goods also jumped by 13 per cent.

Sales of clothes online rose considerably in May, with a 32 per cent increase compared to last year, in line with the warmer temperatures as well as the World Cup fuelling sales of sportswear ahead of the big England matches.

“Throughout the history of the index, we have seen a noticeable rise in sales of certain goods whenever there is a major sports tournament on,” says Chris Webster, vice president, retail consulting and technology at Capgemini.?

“This year’s World Cup is no exception, with online retail as a whole growing by the highest level in two years, and sectors such as clothing, alcohol and electricals rising especially rapidly.

“It’s good to see that consumers’ spirits haven’t been dampened by concerns over government spending cuts, and savvy retailers will have embraced the opportunity to draw in new customers with marketing and price incentives.”??

Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, says: “With online sales growing at their highest rate in almost two years, this is good news for the e-retail industry.

“The fine weather in late May, together with the build up for the World Cup, appears to have had a positive impact for e-retailers. ?Year to date, the UK e-retail market has grown 14 per cent, which is in line with our predictions for this year.

“With recent research suggesting that over half of consumers believe the economy is now recovering from the recession, it is evident that e-retailers have already started to benefit from an increase in consumer spending.”??

May 2010 also proved to be a successful month in terms of growth in conversion rates, with multi-channel retailers converting 16 per cent more browsers to purchasers compared to last year, and like-for-like conversion rates for online-only retailers growing by 10 per cent year on year.??

Growth in sales by retailers with a high street offering as well as an online presence continues to outstrip that of online-only retailers. Multi-channel retailers witnessed growth of 30 per cent compared to last year, while online only retailers showed year-on-year like-for-like growth of 11 per cent.?

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