skip to main content

2,627 shops listed | Last updated: 27 February 2020

Monitor Add a site

Online shopping earned retailers £133 billion last year

19 January 2017 - 09:02 by Graham Miller

Share on

The latest stats from IMRG show that consumers contributed to a record year for shopping online in the UK, with a 16 per cent increase in spending reported as sales hit £133 billion.

This represents an £18 billion increase compared with 2015 and signals that the market is continuing to outperform analyst forecasts, even as it reaches a state of maturity.

Smartphones also managed to move into a dominant position, outstripping tablets as the m-commerce platform of choice and securing 54 per cent of sales in the mobile sector.

While the arrival of the original iPad seven years ago helped to kick start the tablet market for the modern era, mobile phones have caught up in the interim and now offer bigger screens and faster hardware to make the experience of safe shopping online even more appealing on this platform.

IMRG spokesperson, Justin Opie, said that while 2015 had been a fairly muted year for sales growth, things turned around in 2016 and the influence of things like Black Friday and other major events will have helped shape habits and bolstered spending.

He pointed out that smartphones were allowing people to make online purchases in a wider variety of situations, whether at home, on the move, in the office or even out and about on the high street. This is enabling retailers to engage with consumers more effectively, even if it is having a negative impact on bricks and mortar sales.

Interestingly, the actual mobile market itself began to stagnate last year, with even the iPhone failing to find favour with consumers. The rampant upgrade cycle of earlier years has eased as people are choosing to hold onto existing handsets for longer, with innovations few and far between on the hardware side of the equation.