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Online sales growth slows

17 September 2015 - 09:14 by David Aiken

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Cautious consumers saving up for a pre-Christmas blow-out are being blamed for the slowdown in the growth of sales made online during August, according to IMRG.

The Guardian reports that e-commerce growth sat at just five per cent last month, meaning that there was the smallest increase in sales ever seen, since records began 15 years ago.

The entirety of 2015 has been fairly subdued for the e-commerce market in the UK, with some analysts suggesting that this means things are levelling off and the rapid expansion experienced in recent years is coming to an end.

Some experts also argue that major retail events later in the year, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are acting to concentrate spending into specific periods, meaning that the slowdown seen in August is not all that surprising.

IMRG spokesperson, Andy Mulcahy, explained that the stagnation of growth in sales made via safe shopping online was always going to happen eventually, but to a degree has been put off as a result of the rise of m-commerce over the last three years.

This means that the market was buoyed up by the increased interest in online shopping generated by being able to carry it out from portable devices.

Around a fifth of all sales across the UK are carried out online, if the food market is not included. And while it seems unlikely that e-commerce sales will ever decline, it may be that the period of rapid growth has passed.

IMRG identified other factors which have caused a slowdown in online sales growth this year, including things like the general election, the strong pound dissuading overseas consumers from buying from UK sites and even the increasing amount of cash that British consumers are spending on leisure activities, rather than products.