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Online sales growth is sluggish

19 February 2015 - 12:57 by Graham Miller

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The Christmas rush has subsided and now the latest figures from IMRG and Capgemini, show that even the e-commerce industry is undergoing a bit of a lull in the UK during the first weeks of 2015, according to the Telegraph.

Sales made via safe shopping online were up by seven per cent, year on year, in January, in spite of the fact that analysts had initially projected that growth would hit 12 per cent last month.

Experts are blaming the popularity of Black Friday and other pre-Christmas sales on the sluggish performance of the e-commerce market so far this year. Rather than giving consumers low prices at the start of the new year, as is traditional, increased online spending has pushed the sales period further and further back and now consumers are reluctant to part with cash unless they are getting a discount.

Sales of consumer electronics were hit the hardest by the shift in consumer spending, dropping by almost a tenth in January. But as other reports have observed, there were other winners, including clothing and accessories, which grew at above the market average.

Clothing sales have no doubt been boosted by the fact that the mild autumn meant many consumers put off buying items suitable for the colder weather until 2015. And with the rise of fashion sales made through safe shopping online, high street retailers and pure play outlets alike are reaping the benefits at the moment.

It is worth noting that even with growth in e-commerce sales being muted so far this year, it is still a part of the retail market that is managing to continue expanding. This bodes well for the future of the industry, although further shifts in consumer habits may alter the trajectory of the market further.