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E-commerce sales rise significantly during February

13 March 2014 - 10:18 by Sarah Collinson

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New figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, have shown that sales made online were up by 14.3 per cent in February, when compared with the same month last year.

This figure does not even take into account web-based food sales, indicating just how strong the expansion of the e-commerce market continues to be.

The internet continues to prop up the high street. If the online sales were taken out of the equation altogether, then dips in consumer activity across most categories, including footwear and clothing, would subsequently have been registered.

BRC spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, said that the report proves that retailers need to combine safe shopping online with their high street offerings, if they are to halt the sales decline.

Although bricks and mortar sales were boosted by 3.9 per cent in January, a drop of one per cent was registered in February, indicating that the sales period caused a discrepancy in the general downwards trend.

Although high street activity is not falling so much that every shop will be forced out of the market, it does seem like retailers cannot afford to neglect their online offerings, if they are to stay afloat.

Some analysts blamed the poor weather for pushing more consumers to shop online rather than braving the wind, rain and flooding that impacted the high street. And of course, such natural disasters just highlight how easy it is for e-commerce sites to provide round the clock retail, whatever the outside conditions.

In particular, the success of online furniture sales were highlighted by BRC analysts as being a major area for growth. So people are not only shopping online in greater numbers, but buying different types of products that would previously not have been on the agenda.