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Online shopping continues its trend of double digit growth: IMRG

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Online shopping grew by 11% in April, according to the latest figures from the IMRG.

The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index figures mean double-digit growth has been maintained every month so far in 2016 and, indeed, this was the lowest growth figure yet seen this year.

IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said April growth was “slightly ahead” of expectations, given colder weather. So far this year, growth has come in at 13%, ahead of the 11% IMRG forecast for the year.

Mobile commerce continued to grow quickly, with smartphone sales up by 83% during the month, and tablet sales up by 3% – far short of the 32% growth recorded in April 2015. Once a shopper had started browsing on a tablet, however, they were more likely to convert, with a conversion rate for tablets that was 1.7 percentage points higher than for smartphones.

Spooner says this movement amounts to a “displacement of sales from tablet devices”. She added: “Larger mobile screens and better optimised sites seem to be working to increase confidence in using these devices for a wide range of activities.”

Clothing sales contributed to the general ecommerce rise, growing by 15% on last April, with sales of accessories and footwear up by 25% and 19% respectively. Lingerie sales rose by 32%, year-on-year, and by 19% on the previous month.

Online sales of gifts prospered, rising by 16% on last April, while home and garden sales were 13% ahead over the same period. Alcohol sales slowed, with sales 13% down.

Bhavesh Unadkat, retail customer engagement and loyalty SME at Capgemini said: “This was a tough month for retailers as their performance was up against Easter 2015 which fell in April last year. They were also hampered by the heavy rainfall which discouraged shoppers from purchasing the seasonal items that traditionally drive the Index. However double digit growth is still very respectable and I expect May to be even stronger.”

• Figures out this week from Doddle suggest that the warmer weather in May has started to boost the purchase of summer clothing. Collections from the parcel stores rose by 6% over the week of May 9, although returns were up by 17% – coming in ahead of the volumes seen over Black Friday. Doddle has identified its fast fashion hot spots at locations including Canary Wharf, Waterloo, Brixton, King’s Cross and Finsbury Park.

Tim Robinson, chief executive of Doddle , said: “The retail environment has experienced virtually no growth over the last few months; however, the sudden change in temperature appears to have finally jolted consumers into buying mode.

“With more retailers offering next day delivery for click and collect purchases, consumers can shop for a sudden change in weather and be wearing their items the next day.”

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