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Heatwave drives shoppers away from online, but they keep on shopping using mobile, suggests IMRG index for July

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Despite the heat-wave (or “summer” as we used to call it) driving people way from online commerce in July, mobile retailing continues to show stellar growth – and, more importantly, growing conversion rates.

The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index finds that, while the index for online sales had performed above expectations from January to July – showing growth rates averaging 16% – sales online collapsed to -2% growth in July as consumers head into the sunshine and the great outdoors.

However, while shoppers may have shunned the shady desktop, they continued to shop online using their mobiles, with the M-Commerce Index continuing to grow rapidly, with sales up 129% year-on-year in July, although the rate is significantly down on the levels seen in 2012. However, the conversion rate via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) has improved over the past year and was 2.5% in July.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG comments: “There is no doubt that the prolonged heat-wave had a detrimental effect for online retailers. Following the coldest spring in over 50 years, it is hardly surprising that Britons headed outside when the much-needed sunshine appeared. It is interesting to note however that it is only desktop sales that appear to have been impacted; the mobile sales growth of 129% is lower than in recent months but not significantly so, suggesting that consumers still shopped via their devices while bathing in the sun.”

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