Online fashion sales have gone up 15%, says IMRG-Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index – the primary performance indicator of the UK e-retail industry – thereby boosting online retail revenue that saw a 16% rise on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis. This came on t he back of heavy snowfalls last month that marred business for high street retailers. “Both online as well as high street retailers get impacted by unseasonal weather patterns. Hence, it was surprising to see a 15% increase in the clothing sector despite freezing weather in the UK last month,” says Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer of IMRG.
On the contrary, fashion sales plummeted 3.4% y-o-y in March according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, a company that outlines weekly sales changes of more than 70 mid-market retailers with some 10,000 individual stores mainly located on high streets throughout the UK. In this context, McClelland observes, “I believe this happened because online shopping has become ingrained in the culture of today’s shoppers, which plays a significant role in registering double-digit growth irrespective of potentially disruptive external factors.”
Exceeding expectations of 12%, total online sales over the first quarter of 2013 stood at 15%. While there was a 243% rise in sales via mobile devices on a y-o-y basis, the average conversion rates dropped to 1.8% from 2.3% in February 2013 indicating that users are possibly adopting mobile phones to access retail websites for research or on the move rather than making direct purchases.