Internet retailers enjoy bountiful month as growth shoots up by 75 per cent on 2006

January e-sales hit ?4.5bn

A record £4.5 billion was spent online in the UK during January as shoppers headed online to beat the queues and get the best deals, according the latest IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index.

The report highlighted that sales during January were up by 75 per cent on the same time last year, representing a spend by every person in the UK of £74.

Electricals dominated sales, alongside clothing, providing some relief to retailers who suffered over the Christmas period.

"The Index shows that January sales are as large a phenomenon online as they are on the high street, with the overall online market continuing to show strong growth," said vice president of Capgemini UK’s consumer products and retail team, Anthoula Madden.

"The high growth in electricals and clothing suggests that much of this spending is being driven by shoppers treating themselves to the items missing from their Christmas stockings.

"The continued growth in the online sector underlines the importance to retailers of understanding and serving customers across all channels," stressed Madden.

However, there is a concern that despite the continued growth in etailing, driven largely by the continued entry of several new retailers, that the majority of spending is being concentrated on a limited amount of retailers.

The concerns are supported by a report released today by Avail Intelligence, that show more and more, customers are sticking to as few as five or six trusted sites.

Amazon and ASOS emerged as the two most trusted sites, reflecting the amount of demand seen in electrical and clothing retail this month.

"The e-commerce market is extremely crowded, however our research shows that there are a golden few sites that people will return to again and again to make their purchases," commented Avail’s chief executive, Dr Rold Elmér.

"Today’s e-commerce customers expect more from sites than cheap prices and home delivery. If the products they are presented with don’t match their preferences, shoppers will quickly move on."

"The critical goal for any e-tailer is to get into a shopper’s site shortlist, and stay there," Elmér added. "Get it wrong and sites will remain out in the cold for a very long time."

Source: Internet Retailing

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