Online spending in UK rises 10% in April 2012: IMRG

21 May 2012 (Last Updated May 21st, 2012 02:00)

Online shoppers in the UK have spent over £5.7bn in April 2012, up 10% from the same month a year ago, according to the latest figures released by the e-retail trade group Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG).

Online shoppers in the UK have spent over £5.7bn in April 2012, up 10% from the same month a year ago, according to the latest figures released by the e-retail trade group Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG).

The growth level is lower than IMRG and Capgemini's 13% estimate, while last year's April was boosted by the Royal Wedding, with the market recording 19% growth and beer, wine and spirits up 55%.

The wettest April on record clearly impacted upon consumers' desires to update their summer wardrobes as the clothing sector recorded just 1% growth, the lowest in the 11 years it has been tracked in the IMRG's index.

Meanwhile, travel sector saw sales jump 20% year-on-year in April, as Britons flocked online to search for dryer destinations.

Mobile commerce (m-Commerce) in April registered a huge spike of 353% year-on-year, as the number of Brits converting to mobile transactions grew with retailers offering mobile-optimised websites to attract busy shoppers.

The conversion rate for m-retail in April was only 2.4% lower than the e-retail conversion rate, at 1.3%, compared with 0.8% in April 2011.

The launch of iPad3 at the end of March helped the electrical sector reach a year-on-year growth of 26%, the highest since August 2010.

During April 2012, health and beauty recoded a 40% annual growth, while gifts saw a whopping 45% increase.

IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said the 10% annual growth recorded in April is lower than the 13% rise seen in the first quarter, which was on the back of a strong performance in April 2011 when online retail sales grew 19% year-on-year.

"The slowdown in sales of clothing over recent months may be an indication that this sector is showing signs of reaching maturity," Spooner said.

"Year-to-date sales of clothing are up 10% year-on-year, compared with 28% annual growth recorded in the period January to April last year."