Buoyant Christmas spending sees Brits splash out £8.4 billion online in November

| Press release
Online shopping breaks £8bn in one month barrier for the first time!
  • e-Retail sales up 18% on Nov 2011, 25% on October 2012
  • Shoppers in the UK spent £8.4 billion online in November; the first time exceeded £8bn since launch of Index
  • Health & Beauty and gift sectors benefit from seasonal boost: up 82%  and 132% Month-on-Month respectively
  • Clothing sector up 20% year-on-year, the strongest annual growth recorded in 2012

19th December 2012: The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed a better-than-expected performance for online sales in November, recording yearly growth of 18%, and up 25% on October 2012, equating to a very significant £8.4bn spent online. This is the first time since the Index launched in 2000 that spending has topped the £8bn mark for a single month.

With Christmas shopping apparently well and truly underway, a strong performance was recorded across the board, but it was the sectors most traditionally associated with the season that saw the greatest pick up. Health & Beauty had a healthy 82% increase from October, whilst Gifts saw 38% year-on-year growth and 132% month-on-month, the highest in almost five years.

Aided by promotional activity ahead of the party season, the clothing sector year-on-year growth improved from 12% in October to 20% in November - the strongest annual growth recorded for the sector in 2012. Online sales were also boosted as a result of temperatures dropping across much of Britain in November, with many people preferring to shop online as they updated their winter wardrobes.

Year-on-year growth in the m-commerce sector was a huge 309% and the conversion rate reached its highest ever value of 2.1% in November. This reflects increasing consumer confidence in completing the shopping experience on mobile devices, supported by the continued improvement in usability of these devices for retail.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini says: “These results are particularly strong and gives a clear indication of what we can expect to see during the peak shopping weeks in December. E-retail continues to be the growth engine of an otherwise struggling retail sector and as online spending exceeds the £8 billion in one month, we can see just how integral the online and mobile channels have become to the shopping experience.”

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, commented: “The robust Index performance in November is a clear indicator that festive shoppers are using the internet more than ever before in the run up to Christmas.  With an increasing number of online retailers offering next-day delivery services, click & collect and later last order dates for guaranteed delivery before Christmas Day, even  last-minute shoppers can enjoy peace of mind when buying  their festive gifts online.”

“Britons soaring use of smartphones and tablets is also evident in the Mobile Index results, and confidence in the channel is clearly growing. The conversion rate of 2.1% is the highest recorded yet and a sure sign for retailers that mobile has to form a key part of their strategy going into 2013.”

November 2012 eRetail Sales Index figures

Industry Quotes
Alison Wade, Head of Marketing at Buyagift.com comments: “November followed October’s strong trend with overall business growth achieving +27% on November last year. Traffic to Buyagift.com grew by 23% year on year and we experienced an uplift in average order value by 10% due to a strong product offering around the £99 price point. In November we released version 2 of the Buyagift mobile site which has resulted in a positive impact on conversion and we anticipate this will continue through December and the New Year.”

Zak Edwards, Managing Director at online gift retailer Prezzybox, said: “November was fantastic for Prezzybox as we witnessed 55% year-on-year growth. Success was largely attributed to an aggressive social media and search marketing campaign, together with additional website functionality being introduced such as a ‘Save for Later’ feature and a “Secret Santa Gift Finder’.”

Omid Rezvani, Director of Mobile Solutions, eCommera comments: “As we close out 2012 and compare the IMRG m-Retail index with 12 months ago then it is quite clear that mobile transactions are now firmly established as part of the overall consumer purchasing path. We have spent much of the year encouraging retailers to embrace the mobile web and the mobile app to ensure they don’t become casualties of this transition. Looking ahead to 2013 we would urge retailers to be taking the next step – that of becoming truly customer-centric – with their marketing, their back-office systems and their online and offline organisation all harmonised to deliver an exceptional end-to-end customer experience – every time, everywhere. A worthy New Year’s resolution….”   

Gareth Jones, Group Retail & Strategy Director at Shop Direct Group, said: “November was a solid month for the Shop Direct Group brands, with overall sales up 2.5% on last year against strong comparatives. Our strongest performing categories during the month were footwear and accessories and electricals, which were up 9% and 10% respectively year-on-year. With the cold, wet weather really starting to take hold, it was no surprise that footwear and accessories performed well after a relatively quiet September and October.
“Electricals, on the other hand, have performed well for us all year, due in large part to the ability we offer customers to spread their payments. November also saw the launch of our festive marketing campaigns, with electrical products among those at the forefront. We supported the category during the month with a number of targeted promotions and offers that generated rocketing demand – particularly for tablets, laptops and smartphones.
“The mobile revolution also continued at speed during November, with sales from smartphones and tablets representing 24% of total online spend. That represents phenomenal year-on-year growth of more than 250% – a trend that shows no sign of slowing
.”

Notes to Editors
About IMRG
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit http://www.imrg.org/ or email membership@imrg.org 

About Capgemini
With more than 120,000 people in 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2011 global revenues of EUR 9.7 billion (approximately $13.5 billion USD). Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore® , its worldwide delivery model.
Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.
Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini.

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index’
The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location, including in-store. 

Over one hundred e-retailers now regularly contribute data to the IMRG Capgemini Index, including A. Hume Country Clothing, Airport Parking & Hotels Ltd, Amara, Arcadia Group (Burton, Top Man, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Miss Selfridge), Ask Direct, ASOS.com, Bank, Berry Bros & Rudd,  Binends.com, Blacks, Boden.co.uk, Boohoo.com, Boots Direct, Boutique to You, Brandosa.co.uk, Brora, Buyagift.com, BuyItDirect.co.uk, Carphone Warehouse, Charles Clinkard, Charles Tyrwhitt,  Clarks, Cloggs, Cocosa, Co-operative Travel, Crocus.co.uk, Dabs.com, Damart, Debenhams, Dunelm Mill, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings (Freemans, Grattan, Look Again, Kaleidoscope, Curvissa, Swimear365, Witt International UK), Furniture123, Game, Gamestation, Getting Personal.co.uk, Greenfingers.com, Home & Cook, House of Fraser, JD Sports, J D Williams, John Lewis Partnership, Ladderstore.com, Lastminute.com, LK Bennett, Lookfantastic.com, Lyco Direct, M and M Direct, Majestic Wine, Marks & Spencer, Matalan, Millets, Naked Wines, NaturalCollection.com, New Look, Next, Perfect Handbags Perricone MD, PetPlanet.co.uk, Philip Kingsley, PIXmania, Prezzybox.com, Purely Gadgets, QVC, Redfoot Revolution, Richer Sounds, Sainsbury’s, Scales Express, Schuh, Scotlight Direct, Scott, Shoe-Shop.com, Shop Direct Home Shopping (Brand Quarter, Kay & Co, Littlewoods, Woolworths, Very, Isme), Serenata Flowers, Size, Slurp.co.uk, Sofa and Home, Sparkling Strawberry, Sunshine.co.uk, Tesco.com, The Body Shop,  The Fragrance Shop, The Mat Factory, The Natural Skincare Co, The Natural Store, The White Company, ToxicFox, TUI UK, Turton Wines, Waitrose, Warehouse, Wilkinson Hardware & Wynsors World of Shoes.

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