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E-Commerce Sales Stimulated by Fine Weather in February

21 March 2019 - 08:43 by Simon Crisp

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Last month’s spate of unseasonably warm conditions enjoyed in many parts of the UK convinced more consumers to engage in a spot of safe shopping online, according to figures published by IMRG.

February saw a 9.4 per cent uptick in e-commerce spending, with analysts pointing out that this is the most significant jump in online retail activity in six months. The market has been struggling to maintain momentum as a result of economic and political uncertainty, but a sunny spell was all it took to turn things around, at least in the short term.

Unsurprisingly, it was gardening equipment and related products which experienced the biggest spike in spending, up by a third in contrast with the same month during 2018.

Not every segment was a winner, with people splashing out 15.4 per cent less on electrical items and 27.6 per cent less on gifts, according to Internet Retailing.

Consumers in Britain were also uninterested in spending their cash on clothing, as there was virtually no increase in the average amount invested in this area compared with last year.

IMRG spokesperson Andy Mulcahy said that as well as the warm weather playing a part in boosting consumer spending, the hefty discounts being offered by many retailers could also be singled out as stimulating the market in February.

He also pointed out that the retailers which have bricks-and-mortar stores as well as e-commerce sites were actually able to grow their sales at a much greater rate than pure-play web-based outlets.

Even with the overall increase in spending, the average value of an online shopping order was down by seven per cent. This means that while more people were shopping on the web, they were committing to smaller purchases rather than bigger one-off investments.