UK online retail sales rose by 13% in March, fuelled by soaring mobile shopping.

This represents a solid performance despite Easter (which traditionally brings heightened retail sales activity) falling in April.

The continued positive growth for online retail sales appears to be being driven, at least in part, by higher average basket values (ABV) through mobile devices for both multichannel and online-only retailers, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.


The total m-retail ABV was up 18% on March 2016, marking the seventh straight month in which the ABV has risen year on year.

IMRG managing director Justin Opie said: “Over the past few years we have recorded very strong online retail sales growth through smartphone devices and it seems shoppers are getting more confident about checking out with higher baskets through these devices.

“The reasons for this are most likely related to better-performing mobile sites, with many retailers focusing on making the experience as convenient and straightforward as possible on these devices, but it will also no doubt be being influenced by next-day delivery – it has become fairly common for online retailers to offer next-day for free if the total spend is above a set threshold.”

Capgemini principle consultant in retail customer engagement design Bhavesh Unadkat commented: “March 2017 has exhibited fairly typical behaviour. Month on month growth is positive, reversing the negative trend seen in previous Januarys and Februarys.

“Month-on-month growth was still only 4.4% which is the lowest since 2008, although an increase of 13.2% on the year can be seen as strong with Easter falling in March last year.”