IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index: Solid results in October as retailers prepare for pre-Christmas peak

| Press release
Online shopping on track for record Christmas
  • £6.7 billion spent online during October 2012; YoY growth of 14%
  • Gifts sector leaps 62% on September as Christmas shopping gets underway
  • M-commerce grows 261% YoY; around 20% of online orders projected to be via mobile this Christmas
  • £4.6 billion expected to be spent online during two-week Christmas shopping peak

19th November 2012: The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed solid growth in internet retail sales in October, with British shoppers spending £6.7bn online – a 14% year-on-year growth on October 2011, and a 5% increase on the previous month.

The overall growth of the channel and in particular the huge leap in the gift sector (62% month-on-month),  supports the earlier forecast[1] from IMRG and Capgemini that Christmas 2012 will see record growth in online shopping. E-commerce is expected to hit £4.6bn over the two weeks commencing 3rd and 10th December - 15% up on the same period last year, putting the Index firmly on track to meet the predicted annual growth of 14%.

Year-on-year growth in the m-commerce[2] sector grew at a staggering 261% in October. The increased significance of mobile devices in the British retail space was highlighted by the same Christmas forecast, which predicts that 20% of purchases made online during the peak shopping weeks, close to £1bn, will be made via mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) – a huge opportunity for retailers who have implemented mobile solutions.

The figures for October also follow the recent trend of online-only retailers exceeding multichannel retailers on year-on-year growth. October saw unabated growth for online-only - the growth gap with multichannel counterparts widening to 5%.

In terms of specific sectors, October has seen steady performance across the board. Year-on-year growth in the clothing sector stood at a solid 12% and recorded an average spend of £60 - the highest in over two years and prompted by the chilly spells[3].

The electrical sector saw the strongest year-on-year growth since July, a result of the release of the iPhone5 at the end of September. Demand from the committed Apple fans across the UK in October fuelled the sector growth to 14%, both year-on-year and month-on-month respectively.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini says: “With the economy slowly improving but with a highly uncertain future, online shoppers are spending but only cautiously as they save up prior to Christmas. There is much growth to be tapped in the internet market but knowing your target audience and matching their expectation with your offering is crucial. The explosion in m-commerce suggests that retailers are meeting this expectation and satisfying customer demand.

“Overall the outlook for e-retail is very positive and the October results, though modest in comparison with that of September, only confirms our 14% year-on-year annual growth forecast and our expectation for a successful Christmas.”

Andrew McClelland, Managing Director at IMRG, commented: “14% is a solid result for the October Index figures, albeit just below our quarterly forecast of 15% for Q4. This year we really expect online sales to hit their peak in early December, when we estimate £4.6bn will be spent during the peak Christmas fortnight. The real story this year is about mobile though, as we anticipate that 20% of online sales will be made through smartphones and tablets this Christmas. The pace at which mobile sales have grown in 2012 is staggering and there are no signs it will slow up going into 2013.”

Industry quotes
Kashif Abbas, Country Manager, Buyagift.com comments: “Oct was a great month for Buyagift Plc. All key channels achieved/exceeded their budgeted growth figures, with overall business achieving +21% year on year increase in sales. Online traffic to Buyagift.com grew by +25% which highlights an encouraging trend of customers choosing to shop online for buying gifts. +10% of our orders were placed using mobile/tablet devices and we are expecting this figure to grow as we go into the Christmas season.  In the current climate customers are looking for ‘greater choice’ and ‘value for money’. With our mobile optimised platform and ever expanding product range we are well positioned to provide a better shopping experience to our customers regardless of how they choose to shop with us.”

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 co-operative power of its members.

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. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, 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.  These sales are predominantly internet-based today, but the Index remains ready to record e-retail sales conducted via whatever interactive channels the market may embrace in the future.

Index Participants
Around 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, Effortless Skin, Ethical Superstore, Firebox, First Choice, Freemans Grattan Holdings, 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, 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 (Additions, Great Universal, Kays, Littlewoods, Empire, 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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[1]  /news-centre/ news/almost-a-billion-to-be-spent-on-mob ile-devices-during-christmas-peak-weeks_ pr2393/

[2]  All m-commerce data is drawn from the m-Retail Sales and Quarterly Benchmarking Indexes, which run in parallel with the main Index

[3]  http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/