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Online sales grow by 10% in May – and sales from a smartphone by 107%: IMRG

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Online sales grew by 10% in May, and smartphone sales by 107% compared to the same time last year, IMRG figures suggest.

This is the second month in a row of double-digit growth recorded by the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, and the data also suggested that sales for the month were 2% ahead of April.

Meanwhile, m-commerce sales jumped by 48% in May 2014, with particularly strong growth from smartphone sales – up by 107% on the same time last year. Tablet sales grew by 32% over the same period. Shoppers using tablets, however, spent more at an average of £83, compared with the smartphone average of £73.

Sales appeared to have been influenced to some extent by unsettled weather during the month. Online clothing sales grew by only 9%, year-on-year – well down on the 20% growth recorded last May when weather was warmer than average. Home and garden sales fell by 27%, year-on-year. Electricals continued to be the weakest performing sector in the year to date, with online sales growing by 3% in May.

“After the below-expectation performance in quarter 1, when sales growth for the quarter was up just 7%, it’s encouraging to see online sales growth holding up during a fairly unpredictable month that featured the general election and unsettled weather patterns,” said Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG . “It was a really mixed bag for the sectors in May – it may be that electricals is struggling due to the lack of any new must-have technology, and garden was clearly impacted by the weather – but as we saw in home and travel there are still some strong areas of growth driving the index.”

That stronger growth was seen in the accessories category which grew by 66% year-on-year, and were 19% ahead of April, and the home sector, up by 29%.

Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail at Capgemini , said the online retail sector had had a “turbulent” opening to the year. But, he said, “this month’s index result on the back of a strong performance in April indicated we’re on the right track. The weather is improving which invariably has a positive impact on shoppers’ spending and of course we’re heading into the holiday season whihc will encourage consumers to update their summer wardrobes.”

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