Online Retail Sales ‘Up 9.9% In May’

Digital sales in the retail sector grew by 9.9 per cent in May, the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed – great news for anyone making use of retail IT systems at this time.

However, compared with the previous year the growth is not as accelerated. In 2013, web-based sales of non-food products were up by 17 per cent – which is why May 2015 is lagging behind the yearly average growth of 11.9 per cent.

Director-general of the BRC Helen Dickinson observed that in the last year, the internet has contributed to more growth for non-food sales than in actual physical stores, rewarding the investments that businesses have put into new avenues in the last couple of years.

“Positive consumer confidence was illustrated in May by good growth in big ticket items such as furniture and domestic appliances, particularly online,” she said.

Digital growth in household appliances and furniture was up over its performance in April, it was also found, although because May 2014 saw such strong sales in fashion categories it appeared to suffer this year.

This comes after the BRC found that consumers in the UK are increasingly using their smartphones to make purchases online, especially when it comes to shopping for clothes. In April, it was found that the number of those using their phones to hunt for clothes was up by 54 per cent compared with the same time a year ago. In addition, tablet searches were seen to be up by 11 per cent over the same period.