Online sales reach record £7.9bn in December

Shoppers spent a record £7.9bn online in December 2011, a 16.5% increase on 2010

Shoppers spent a record £7.9bn online in December, a 16.5% increase on last year, according to research from Capgemini.

The findings from IMRG Capgemini e-retail Sales Index found the average online spend per shopper was around £155, with overall sales up 12.2% on November. Total online spend for 2011 was £77bn.

The UK is the second largest global market for e-commerce after the US and takes 30% of the European market share, said IMRG.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said all retail growth in the UK was now coming through digital channels.

He said rich content, such as videos, would be a driver to growth for retailers in 2012, along with consumers using more tablets and mobile to browse and make purchases. Having a strong multi-channel offering with full system integration will also be important for retailers this year, Webster said.

“The rapid rise of mobile in 2011 will continue into 2012 as consumers become familiar with shopping via tablet devices and smartphones. This changing landscape will open up a myriad of opportunity for retailers including the integration of stores into the multi-channel world and the potential of new capabilities like location based marketing services.”

Jonathon Brown, head of online at John Lewis, said December were 30% up on the same month last year. “IT especially, and even more so iPads, proved to be top of customers Christmas lists. So, a tremendous Christmas and a great start to Clearance saw the best December we have ever had and set us up well for a tough market in 2012,” Brown said.

Gwynn Milligan, MD of Cocosa, said: “Cocosa has had a record breaking Christmas, with our online sales up 125% year, we broke daily and weekly sales records. We have cleared all of our stock that went into sale, so that with investment in our people and the business, and the unwavering support we have from our chairman, this ensures that we are best placed for this growth to continue."

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