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Favourable weather enables bumper month for e-commerce

23 May 2011 - 11:29 by Graham Miller

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UK consumers made April this year a boom month for safe shopping online, with sales of £5.2 billion registered by e-commerce firms across the country - which equates to a year on year increase of about a fifth.

The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has shown that a number of factors contributed to the increase in online sales, with things like the bank holiday and the fine sunshine which many experienced adding to the number of e-commerce purchases which were being made.

The bright sun brought sales of summery clothing up by 32 per cent last month, while people stocking up on alcohol ahead of the Royal Wedding also enhanced the sales surge.

On average people were spending £174 in each online shopping trip, which is 20 per cent more than they were in the previous month this year.

A 14 per cent boost to the home and gardening sector shows that people were using safe shopping online to prepare their homes for the approach of summer and perk up outdoor spaces to make them great for a long string of barbeques and parties.

Interestingly, it seems that travel sites and tour companies are being hit hardest, with an eight per cent drop in sales recorded between March and April this year, while compared to the same period in 2010, there was just a one per cent rise overall.

It's a mixture of government cuts and the apparent prevalence of balmy conditions in the UK that is encouraging people to save cash and spend the holidays at home, rather than seeking the sun abroad.

Capgemini spokesperson, Chris Webster, said that the positive growth of e-commerce in April was yet another indicator that UK consumers are putting far more trust in the online retailers than ever before.