Online sales growth in September tops best performing quarter in two years

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 11:  In this photo illustration a laptop displays the shopping basket on the eBay website on August 11, 2014 in Bristol, United Kingdom. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale. Since that sale - a copy of an album by the artist Sting - online retailing has grown to such an extent that it is now claimed that 95 percent of the UK population has shopped online and close to one in four deciding to shop online each week.  (Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

UK online sales grew 16% year-on-year in September, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.

The September performance tops off a strong quarter, with the Index recording the highest quarterly growth (+17%) since Q1 2014, and notably coinciding with the period following Brexit.

Growth may have been triggered by an increase in international shoppers making purchases on UK websites due to the pound’s dramatic decline, according to IMRG managing director Justin Opie.

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The growth for Q3 2016 was the strongest quarterly growth we have recorded in two-and-a-half years – although it was building on a lower base of 9.6% during the same period last year,” he said.

“Nonetheless, online sales growth post-Brexit has remained strong – this may in part have been driven by increases in international shoppers buying from retailers’ sites, so they can pay in sterling and get maximum benefit from the sharp shifts in currency we have seen over the past few months.”

Bhavesh Unadkat, management consultant in Retail Customer Engagement Design at Capgemini adds: “It’s encouraging to see that consumer confidence remains strong. However, a weak pound and an action plan on the horizon for Brexit is cause for concern and could well have a negative effect on confidence.”


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