UK e-retailers enjoy magic March, IMRG + Capgemini research
UK online retail sales rose by 18.9% year-on-year in March, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Marking the highest year-on-year growth since November 2016, March’s results round out a successful first quarter, which saw average growth perform above the 2018 forecast (+15.4% vs. +9%). Key factors here include the continued cold weather from the Beast from the East and the early Easter bank holiday.
Bhavesh Unadkat, Principal Consultant in Retail Customer Engagement, Capgemini, flags up the comparatively stronger growth of multi-channel retailers during March. This, he argues, further supports the weather’s role in driving footfall away from the High Streets, but also highlights the potential value and relevance of maintaining some form of physical presence in addition to a digital one.
He comments: “The trick for retailers is to figure out how the two can successfully work in combination, and what role each must play. We’re already seeing the start of this interplay in the trend for showrooming, but that is just one possible innovation of many. Regardless of a probable uptick in High Street sales as the months warm up, this isn’t a calculation retailers can afford to push to the back of their minds till autumn. Not only is the British weather far too unreliable for such optimism, but all the signs point to this being part of a much more intrinsic change in consumer behaviour that continues to gather pace. For those retailers who fail to evolve their approach fast enough, the gap in fortunes is only going to widen.”