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Online sales grow by 17% in June: IMRG

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Shoppers spent 17% more online in June than they did at the same time last year – despite the Brexit vote, according to IMRG analysis.

The strong performance came amid fears that retail spending would slow following a vote to leave the European Union – which happened three weeks into June. But the IMRG said today, as it released the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index or June, that it had so far detected only a short blip after the poll.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG , said that it was too soon to say what effects the Brexit vote would have long-term. “However,” she said, “early signs from a recent IMRG poll of retailers found that around two-thirds of online merchants saw a slowdown in sales in the few days after the EU referendum, with most reporting sales appearing to recover to normal levels again afterwards.”

Bhavesh Unadkat, management consultant in retail customer engagement design at Capgemini , said: “It’s widely agreed that consumer confidence is falling, and this is something that is being heard from retailers across a myriad of sectors. As a result, it’s great to see that, both in the run up to the referendum and in the immediate aftermath, online sales growth remained strong.

“These figures obviously don’t encapsulate the entire Brexit fall out, and the full impact of the referendum is something that we will not be able to wholly analyse for a number of months. In the meantime, retailers need to continue to focus on ensuring they give their customers every reason to shop with them.”

While smartphone spending soared, growing in June by 69% year-on-year, sales made over tablets grew by just 0.4%.

“Smartphones continue to take an increasing share of mobile commerce with year-on-year growth rates also surging ahead,” said Spooner. Conversely, sales completed on tablet devices flat-lined during June, which effectively means that all growth in mobile commerce came via smartphones last month.”

The findings come, however, as a survey by Bronto Software and NetSuite suggests that tablet use for ecommerce is strong among the over-55s in the UK – in contrast with shoppers in both the US and Australia.

The IMRG analysis found that shoppers opted to buy fashion and footwear during the month: lingerie sales were up by 41%, accessories by 46% and footwear by 34%. Health and beauty sales fell by 5%, and those of beer, wines and spirits by 7%.

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