Online sales grew at an annual rate of 13% in April, the fastest monthly growth since 2007.
Year-to-date growth stands at 9% over the same period in 2014 as the sector accelerated after a disappointing first quarter.
“Although this [9% YTD growth] is still below our 2015 growth forecast of 12%, a number of sectors continue to outperform the total market including footwear, lingerie and accessories,” explained Tina Spooner, chief information officer, at IMRG, which has compiling the research for the past 15 years.
UK retailers believe a number of factors influenced the slowdown in e-retail growth during Q1 including market maturity, increased competition, less discounting resulting in consumers holding out for sales and promotions and also political and economic uncertainty.
However, it is too early to say whether the single-digit growth recorded during Q1 was merely a blip and we will be monitoring developments very closely over the coming months, Spooner said.
Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail for Capgemini, commented: “Today’s figures show a return to form for online retail. Shoppers are clearly more confident than ever and in the run up to the general election were feeling upbeat about their prospects for the future. The fact that conversion rates were so high goes to show that people weren’t just window shopping – they were going online ready to spend. With the economy continuing to improve I’m confident that online retail is on the up.”