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Report reveals strong increase in online sales

26 February 2018 - 09:57 by Graham Miller

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The latest stats from IMRG suggest that sales made via safe shopping online were up by 13.9 per cent during January this year, suggesting that the UK’s retail sector is in better health than some other figures had suggested.

There was especially solid growth recorded in e-commerce clothing sales, which were 16.8 per cent higher last month than they were during the same period in 2017.

Analysts were also surprised to see a 4.4 per cent rise in the number of electronics sales which took place, following several months of decline in this particular segment of the market.

Report spokesperson, Bhavesh Unadkat, said that the unexpected increase in sales of consumer electronics made via safe shopping online was a positive indicator of the state of the e-commerce industry as a whole.

He explained that many sites were offering significant discounts on high value items in this category to help stimulate sales, but identified some other trends which are helping to increase consumer spending. The uptick in sales of smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo range, is one factor that experts are taking into account to explain this phenomenon.

While sales from bricks and mortar stores did not grow last month, the above average levels of rainfall experienced across the country are being cited as having convinced most consumers to stay at home and make online purchases instead.

M-commerce activity was up by 39.3 per cent annually, showing that more consumers are shopping from their smartphones than ever before. Conversely, there was a 10 per cent dip in tablet shopping, signalling the continued decline in the popularity of this larger format, according to Internet Retailing.

Earlier in the month, figures from the ONS projected a much less rosy picture of the UK’s e-commerce sector, but this report puts a positive spin on the current state of affairs.