UK Online Spending Hits Record High In 2015


Black Friday and m-commerce help push online sales to £114bn over 2015

Christmas 2015 saw a record amount of online spending by British shoppers as mobile and online shopping became increasingly popular.

The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, which collates figures from over a hundred leading UK retailers, found that £24.4bn was spent online during the eight weeks between November 1 and December 26, a 12 percent increase on last year’s figure and a new overall record.

Online retail sales also recorded a solid 11 percent year-on-year increase in 2015, equating to approximately £114bn spent online this year. And the Index predicts that this growth is only set to continue next year, estimating 11 percent increase again during 2016 as total e-retail sales reach an estimated £126bn.

Splash the cash

online shoppingShopping via mobile devices saw a major increase during 2015, the Index found, recording a 42 percent growth on the previous year, with 45 percent of all online sales made via a mobile device during the third quarter (August to October).

“Sales via smartphones continue to grow at a significantly higher rate than those via tablets, with sales growth during December reaching the highest recorded during 2015 at 117.5 percent year-on-year,” noted Tina Spooner, IMRG’s chief information officer.

“While tablets continue to account for the largest share of mobile commerce, significantly, during December four in ten m-retail sales were completed on a smartphone, compared with 28 percent penetration in December 2014.”

Black Friday also proved to be a popular period for sales, with 17 percent of all sales taking place during the week of the event. Black Friday week also saw a 62 percent increase in online sales compared to the previous week, as shoppers laid out an estimated £4.3bn online.

“2015 has been another massive year in terms of consumer spending, but what the Index reveals is just how dominant the online channels have become,” said Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital at Capgemini.

“In just two years Black Friday has shifted from a high-street event to an online one, with retailers extending their discounting over a week, rather than a single day. We also saw mobile confirm its role as a primary shopping channel, providing consumers with an unprecedented level of convenience. In 2016 I’m confident we’ll see this influence increase even further with mobile representing over half of all sales made online.”

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Author: Mike Moore
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