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Online sales continue to increase

14 May 2013 - 09:21 by Graham Miller

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April saw yet another month of strong growth in e-commerce sales, according to the latest figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Purchases made online in the UK were up by 8.3 per cent annually last month, which is a statistic that looks even more positive when you consider that retail spending as a whole was down by 0.6 per cent.

This shows that there is still a discrepancy in performance between the buoyant e-commerce market and the struggling high street.

The BRC found that many British retailers are actually turning to m-commerce, to further boost online sales, since increases in the number of visitors who are browsing and making purchases from smartphones and tablets are difficult to ignore.

It reports that some companies are seeing a fifth of their online sales being generated by mobile devices, which is encouraging retailers to start developing their own smartphone applications and m-commerce sites to tap into this growing market.

Although more people were using safe shopping online in April than ever before, annual growth in this area was actually slightly lower than the nine per cent expansion experienced during the same period in 2012.

BRC spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, explained that there were a number of factors explaining this, including the placement of Easter in 2013.

She also said that spending should remain reasonably strong throughout May, in part as a result of the dual bank holiday weekends which fall during this month.

Dickinson spoke out about the need for retailers to take a multichannel approach in order to conquer the modern market. Consumers are no longer tethered to one device or limited to shopping in one place, so it is necessary to court them online and off to secure their long term loyalty.