Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 19.8% in August versus a year earlier- the highest growth ever recorded since British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG launched its online retail sales monitor in December 2012.
Last month, online sales represented 16.5% of total non-food sales, against 14.8% in August 2013. BRC-KPMG says this bodes well for the coming months, as online sales intensify in the run-up to Christmas. Growth was well spread across all categories, including furniture, which reached its fastest growth on record in August.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Customers are really responding well to retailers who have worked hard on developing websites that are attractive and provide customers with a fulfilling user experience. The results show great promise for an increase in online spending, especially with Christmas approaching.
“As shoppers turn their attention towards Christmas, we expect the volume of sales transacted online to accelerate, although we expect them to interact across all channels as part of the shopping journey. Retailers continue to make considerable investment creating quality online shopping experiences.”
KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale added: “The summer has been a good test of retailers’ online capabilities and many have used this to refine their systems before we enter the autumn/winter trading period. The continued growth of online sales reflects these successes. This has been time well spent. Those with a truly seamless multichannel operation will be the winners this Christmas, and those with less than perfect systems will see their flaws exposed as the sheer volume of customer orders will test their operation to the limit.”