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Online sales in 2011 beat estimates to total £31.5bn

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UK spending online for the first half of 2011 is 19 per cent higher than the same period last year, new research published today reveals.

Total e-tail sales reached £31.5 billion in the first six months of the year, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which is one per cent ahead of what was forecast in January.

A wet spring and start to summer have contributed to the popularity of ‘in-doors’ shopping, as has the slow pace of the economy which has inspired deal hunters to trawl the web.

June was a particularly strong month for online sales with its 21 per cent year-on-year growth the largest of any month since January, and its total of £5.3 billion was equivalent to £86 spent by every person in the UK.

Chris Webster, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini., said: “A 21 per cent year-on-year increase in June is a perfect way to round off the first half of 2011, as it is consistent with what has been to date a very strong year.

“Bank holidays, soggy weekends and major sporting events encourage us to go online for our shopping – it’s quick, it’s convenient and we can do it 365 days a year. What’s more, we don’t need to be armed with an umbrella.

“It will be interesting to see whether the index can maintain growth off the back of strong growth in the second half of 2010.”

The product category to see the largest increase in e-sales since June 2010 is accessories which saw trading soar 65 per cent year-on-year whilst the wider clothing segment grew 31 per cent in total.

Away from fashion items, home & garden products also had a strong month with web sales up 22 per cent whilst gifts was the only segment to see a decline in trade compared to 12 months previously but even this was only a fall of one per cent.

David Smith, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at IMRG, commented: “The modern retail market is dictated by what the consumer wants, and online is becoming ever-more central to our shopping behaviour.

“Both Sports Direct and Superdry have released figures recently showing that their e-commerce sales have doubled in the space of a year from around four per cent to eight per cent of total revenue.

“These results clearly demonstrate the potential for multichannel retailers to greatly increase their margins by successfully integrating their available channels.”

Published on Wednesday 20 July by Editorial Assistant

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