Online spending continues to increase thanks to fashion sector

Consumers are spending more money shopping online, with clothing and footwear seeing the biggest increases

Consumers are spending more money shopping online, with clothing and footwear seeing the biggest increases.

The average weekly spending online in June 2014 was £728.9m, increasing 13.4% compared with June 2013.

New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) stated the amount spent online accounted for 11.3% of all retail spending (excluding fuel) last month, while in June 2013 this was 10.4%.

Clothing and footwear saw the biggest year-on-year increase, going up 20.6% in June 2014 compared with June 2013. Other categories included food, department stores, household goods and other, and the lowest increases were seen by household goods (5.5%) and other (4.1%).

Sean McKee, head of e-commerce and customer services at Schuh, told Computer Weekly that the footwear retailer was a very early adopter of online and mobile, being the first UK retailer to use eBay as a clearance channel and transacting online since 2001.

But McKee thinks Schuh moved too quickly into mobile retail in 2008 – customers weren’t ready and the site had no transactions. “Our fingers were burned, but we got back in 2010-2011, and then later in 2011, we got a mobile-optimised site,” he said.

“The lesson there is that we aren’t an educator business; we are representative of the retail mainstream, and we aren’t going to teach customers how to change their shopping behaviour in the way that Amazon can.”

Meanwhile, according to ONS, online food shopping continued to grow at 14.5%, while online spending in department stores increased by 10.3% year-on-year, the lowest spending online in this store type since November 2011 (9.5%).

In June 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry on and offline increased by 3.5% compared with June 2013, and 0.8% compared with May 2014.

Dan Wagner, CEO of Powa Technologies said that retailers are now dealing with savvier customers who want traditional stores and e-commerce to merge into a single seamless experience.

“The next step is to enable customers to buy whenever and wherever they may be, when they are at that critical buying decision moment,” he said.

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