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Statistics Show Online Shopping Is Still Growing

23 April 2019 - 09:50 by Graham Miller

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Figures published by the Office for National Statistics confirm that shopping online is continuing to conform to a trend of sales growth in the UK, with a 12.4 per cent uptick in e-commerce purchased recorded over the course of March this year.

This healthy year-on-year expansion of the web-based retail market means that 18.6 per cent of all sales are now generated online, allowing internet outlets to encroach further on the market of their bricks-and-mortar counterparts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was revealed by analysts that companies which solely sell products online are growing faster than their rivals that also have a presence on the high street. This is presumably because of the improved agility that is afforded to pure-play e-commerce sites, as well as the significant discounts that they can offer customers.

The ONS went on to confirm that there was actually solid growth in spending across the entire retail sector during March of 2019, with a 1.2 per cent increase in purchases being accompanied by a 6.6 per cent overall spending rise.

Report spokesperson Rhian Murphy said that the growth in March was reflective of general improvements to retail sales seen so far this year, with the fine weather helping to stimulate spending both online and in store.

He revealed that department stores were the only type of retail outlet that actually saw a reduction in sales and spending, perhaps suggesting that this format is struggling to maintain the interest of consumers in an era when online shopping provides far more variety and enhanced convenience.

Retailers remain in a tricky situation as a result of the fact that Brexit discussions are ongoing and the decision on the UK’s exit from the EU has been pushed back several months, in spite of originally being scheduled for the end of March.