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Weekly online spend hits £1 billion

22 May 2017 - 09:16 by Graham Miller

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British consumers spent £1 billion a week over the course of April this year, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

As a whole, e-commerce accounted for 15.6 per cent of the UK’s retail market, whereas during the same month in 2015 its share was a slightly more modest 14 per cent.

Interestingly spending was up by 7.1 per cent across the board, largely as a result of price increases instigated by many retailers and brands in the wake of the Brexit vote and the weakening of the pound.

Grocery sales made online demonstrated the biggest jump in activity, with a 17.6 per cent year on year increase in spending reported.

Industry experts have warned that as the web continues to expand its grip on retail in the UK, high street outlets will disappear and the bricks and mortar market will look very different in the coming years.

There are concerns that high street outlets are too reliant upon seasonal spikes in spending, which insiders believe is not enough to save them in the long run.

The good news for all retailers is that spending and sales are both growing at the moment, with e-commerce serving to bolster the rest of the market when it comes to expansion.

Furthermore, the combination of online and in-store experiences is helping some retailers champion the omnichannel approach and ensure that their real world outlets remain relevant even as more customers flock to safe shopping online.

Easter helped to boost spending last month, while the warmer weather also made sales of clothing and other fashion items rise faster than expected, according to Internet Retailing. Analysts will be keeping a close eye on the market as the general election looms to see how consumers respond to the result.