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May sees eighteen per cent increase in online shopping

16 June 2011 - 13:18 by Graham Miller

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UK consumers spent more money via safe shopping online last month than they did in the same period during 2010, with the latest figures published by IMRG Capegemini suggesting that the increase equates to an 18 per cent rise, year on year.

In May around £5.3 billion was shelled out online across the country, which was two per cent more than was spent in March. The marked difference between these two months is that consumers actually bought cheaper goods in greater numbers rather than splashing out on expensive items.

The total online spend for UK consumers in 2011 so far is sitting just under the £26 billion mark, which is essentially on track to meet the forecasts made by IMRG earlier in the year. In May, people were using safe shopping online to buy inexpensive fashion items and cheaper alcohol to mitigate the impact of price rises on the high street.

IMRG spokesperson, Tina Spooner, said that the retail market was being led by the growth of e-commerce, although she pointed out that online stores selling more expensive products and services, like travel and home appliances, were not growing at such a significant speed.

A 25 per cent boost to alcohol sales year on year meant that average online grocery baskets were packed with around £161 of products. A similar increase in sales of clothing and accessories was reported as part of the latest e-Retail Sales Index report.

Experts are convinced that the figures continue to suggest that more and more UK consumers are ditching the high street outlets in favour of e-commerce sites, which offer better prices and added convenience.

Of course many well known high street chains have made inroads into the world of online shopping and so those who are benefitting most are multichannel retailers.