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Strong Online Sales Growth Reported in December by IMRG

23 January 2020 - 14:03 by Paul Tissington

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New statistics from IMRG suggest that the market for safe shopping online in the UK was able to expand at a faster rate than expected in the final month of 2019, ending the decade on a reassuring note after previous worries about the state of play over the course of the year.

Internet Retailing reports that there was a 9.4 per cent annual increase in sales in December, with the boost to spending stimulated by the festive period allowing sales to rise more rapidly than many had anticipated.

The fourth quarter of the year saw even better growth of 11.3 per cent, thanks to the presence of Black Friday in late November. December was less stellar in terms of increased consumer activity, but nevertheless the drop-off in growth was not as stark as some had predicted.

It may seem like this is all positive news, but a closer look at the figures will reveal that 2019 was not a good year for online shopping overall, at least in comparison with previous periods. Analysts had originally expected that the market would expand by at least 9 per cent over the course of the year, but in the end this only ended up being 6.7 per cent.

Certain segments of the market fared better than others, with health and beauty products enjoying the biggest spending increase with sales up by 45 per cent. Even electronics outlets enjoyed positive performance, with almost 12 per cent more sales seen in December last year compared to the same month in 2018.

While more people are buying online at the moment, the report also revealed that less is being spent per transaction on average. This could suggest that habits are swinging to smaller yet more frequent trips to e-commerce sites.