Sales on smartphones hit record high

Sales on mobile devices (m-Retail) in 2015 grew by almost half (42 per cent) compared with the previous year.

And for smartphones, sales growth reached its highest on record in December – more than doubling at 117.5 per cent.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index – August to October 2015, m-Retail sales in that period accounted for 45 per cent of all online transactions.

Online retail sales have increased year-on-year by 11 per cent in 2015, with around £114 billion spent online.

This was slightly below IMRG and Capgemini’s 2015 forecast of 12 per cent growth. For 2016, they predict a further 11 per cent growth, with total e-retail sales estimated to be worth £126bn by the end of year.

Electricals, however, achieved a growth of only three per cent growth in the year compared with 2014.

During the Christmas shopping period – November 1 to December 26 –£24.4bn was spent online – an increase of 12 per cent.

The report found the greatest concentration of sales (17 per cent) took place during the week of Black Friday, commencing November 22. During this week, retail sales increased by 62 per cent compared with the previous week, with shoppers spending an estimated £4.3bn on discounted goods. This is also greater than Black Friday event in 2014, with 44 per cent growth recorded and 20 per cent in 2013, before Black Friday existed in the UK.

Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital at Capgemini, said: “In just two years, Black Friday has shifted from a high-street event to an online one, with retailers extending their discounting over a week, rather than a single day. We also saw mobile confirm its role as a primary shopping channel, providing consumers with an unprecedented level of convenience. In 2016, I’m confident we’ll see this influence increase even further with mobile representing over half of all sales made online.”

IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said: “With December being the wettest since records began, it appears the unseasonal weather, together with growth in mobile commerce helped to boost online sales over the festive period. As we observed in 2014, the effect of Black Friday resulted in November being the peak month for the online retail industry as consumers brought forward much of their Christmas spending, no doubt boosted by promotional activity around Black Friday.”