Online retailers have enjoyed a strong start to the year, as the “Black Friday Effect” of 2015 failed to repeat itself.
The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal 15% annual growth in the online retail sector; more than double the 7% rise recorded in January last year. The biggest winners included Clothing and Electrical items which saw 15% year-on-year sales growth.
According to Capgemini, the increase in sales growth is indicative of the absence of the “Black Friday Effect”: the idea that Black Friday 2014 led to a “lingering downturn in sales growth in Q1 of last year”.
“As we settle into the New Year, with the busy festive period behind us, the retail sector will be relieved to see such impressive results,” said Richard Tremellen, Retail Insight and Data Specialist at Capgemini. “It’s a strong indication that consumer confidence is continuing to grow and puts us in a good position for a strong 2016.”
The Index also revealed a staggering disparity in payment methods. Sales made via smartphones saw an increase of 96%, whilst tablet sales grew by 13%. Chief Information Officer at IMRG Tina Spooner cited the “design shift toward larger screens, together with improved retailer mobile sites” as reasons for this growth.
“The latest Index results reveal a strong start to the year for the UK online retail industry, with annual growth reaching the second-highest rate recorded over the past 14 months,” Spooner continued. “The 15% growth in January is more than double the growth rate observed in the same month last year, when the knock-on effect of Black Friday continued into the early part of 2015, and is ahead of IMRG and Capgemini’s 2015 growth forecast.”