Online sales grew by 15% in October, new figures suggest. But while electricals sales grew at their fastest rate in 2013, sales of clothing were at their lowest.
The increase recorded by the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index takes growth for the year so far to 16%. That compares well to the 13% achieved in the same time last year.
Not all categories of sales performed equally during the month. Clothing sales grew by 9.6% on last year, 4% less than on the previous month, as mild weather held back sales of autumnal clothes. But electricals sold well, thanks to releases including the new iPhone 5 models and tablets including Tesco’s Hudl and Argos’ MyTablet.
Conversion rates continued to improve, hitting 4.7% in October – the highest since November 2012.
Chris Webster, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini , said: “It’s great to see that m-commerce conversions are slowly increasing, but it’s important to note that conversion rates are still higher for laptops and PCs. Whilst tablet devices are used for sofa surfing in front of the TV and browsing on our smartphones is a perfect way of making use of the daily commute, when it comes to serious shopping, many of us still prefer the PC experience.”
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at etail trade association the IMRG , said: “The month-on-month growth between September and October was actually far lower than is usual, at just 0.5% compared with the rate of 4-8% we have seen over the past 5 years. However, this is following the strongest online sales growth recorded between August and September in 13 years. Coming off the back of a strong comparator last October, the performance is still strong and bodes well for a positive Christmas for online retail.”