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Sales growth slows, but online shopping is still expanding

21 July 2014 - 14:11 by Paul Tissington

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The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium have shown that sales made by safe shopping online in the UK over the course of June were up by 10.6 per cent, year on year.

This sounds like an impressive amount of growth for any marketplace to undergo, but analysts are actually concerned about e-commerce expansion slowing down, since this was the lowest level of growth for almost a year.

These stats do not include food sales, with online shopping accounting for almost a fifth of the overall market in the UK last month.

While growth may have been comparatively sluggish, there were a number of areas in which much more online activity was registered. In fact, the number of Brits buying footwear via safe shopping online was especially high during June, presumably as a result of the seasonal change and the need to get ready for the summer holidays.

Overall, the UK's non-food retail market grew by just 0.6 per cent last month. And without the contribution made by the web, there would almost certainly have been a decline.

BRC spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, said that retailers are working hard to deliver a better online experience to consumers, with most succeeding in drawing in yet more web sales and making up for the ongoing decline in high street footfall.

Dickinson pointed out that the availability of multiplatform retail was a big factor in ensuring ongoing growth, since people are now used to being able to shop from their PCs, smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, click & collect solutions are making sure that bricks and mortar stores are not being abandoned completely in the rush to embrace the web.

The hot weather may have helped boost sales of some products, but otherwise sunny conditions tend to put people off shopping, irrespective of platform, according to Dickinson.