Online sales positive ahead of Christmas says IMRG

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Growth of 14% measured in October, with accessories climbing 63%.

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed online sales are back on track following a disappointing September, hinting at positive sales in the run up to Christmas.

The Index grew 7% month-on-month, which is the highest level of growth between September and October for four years. The UK online retail sector grew 16% year-on-year last month, with about £8.8 billion spent online in October, the highest market value since December 2013 and a further indication that the 2014 Christmas shopping period has started.

This performance was mirrored by smartphone and tablet device sales, which climbed 43% last month compared to October 2013, and 11% compared to September this year.

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IMRG reports that the accessories sub-sector is booming, growing an impressive 63% last month. Positively for jewellery retailers, October’s sales Index also revealed that multichannel retailers who operate both online and with bricks-and-mortar stores won 18% sales growth, while online-only retailers’ growth was more conservative, at 8%.

IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said: “The welcome return to double-digit growth last month follows the poor September results, when the online retail industry was adversely affected by the unseasonably mild autumn temperatures. Excluding the travel sector, e-retail sales growth is in line with our growth forecast for 2014 at 17% year-to-date and we expect this solid performance to continue for the remainder of the year.

“Despite the fact we appear to be seeing a levelling off in consumer confidence, a number of factors indicate that the online retail industry is likely to see a strong festive trading period. E-retailers appear to be more confident in their growth predictions for the fourth quarter, shoppers are spending more per online transaction than last year and our latest research reveals almost half of consumers will order gifts online less than a week before Christmas Day.“
 

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