Online retail sees strongest growth in 13 years following summer dip

The online retail market has seen its highest growth period for 13 years.

The online retail market has seen its highest growth period for 13 years.

The months of August to September this year recorded a rise of 13%, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. This is the highest growth since the Index began 13 years ago.

This rise follows the first ever negative online growth recorded in June and July of -2%, which was thought to be because of a boom in 2012 due to the Olympics, followed by the UK’s heat wave this summer.

“August then saw an apparent bounce year-on-year, caused by depressed sales last year as people watched the Olympics, but in reality this year was not an exception,” said Chris Webster, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini. “Year-on-year growth has now returned to trend so September has returned to solid growth, which is the highest we have seen for three years but not overly exceptional.”

Online retail saw a 20% rise year-on-year in September, driven by the increasing use of mobile devices as part of the purchase journey.

Webster said it was ease and convenience that is drive people to shop on mobile devices rather than laptops and PCs.  “At the same time, 3G (and 4G) have speeded up access and also mobile internet and App design has improved massively to make the devices easy to use.”

Nearly a quarter (23%) of mobile devices used to purchase online were smartphones in September with the remaining 77% coming from tablets. But within these figures, Webster said smartphone use is growing much faster than tablets.

“Smartphone use is roughly tripling every year while only doubling for tablets,” he said.

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