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UK online sales rise at fastest rate for three years
Online sales in the UK grew by five per cent in March, to register a 14 per cent rise in the first quarter of the year, the fastest rate of increase for this time of year since 2008.Mother’s Day, in particular, boosted e-retailers in the health and beauty sector, who registered a 20 per cent jump in sales for the month, taking the amount spent year-on-year on such products to 32 per cent higher than a year earlier.
And the online retail sector as a whole confirmed that it is continuing to buck the gloomy trend among high street stores, with overall online sales up by 14 per cent year-on-year at the end of March.
Britons now spend a monthly average of £82 each online, which includes the cost of going online to arrange international shipping or express delivery of their new purchases.
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini said that, while March was “a solid month” for online sales, “consumers are indeed tightening belts, but are still shopping, and have simply become more strategic in their buying habits.”
Phillip Rinn, senior director of advertising at eBay International, added: “The latest sales index highlights how the online high street is resilient to wider retail and economic trends.
“At a time when recent figures highlight wider retail sales have seen their worst monthly decline in 15 years, the five per cent month-on-month increase in online retail revenue is particularly impressive and shows that at a time when belt tightening was expected across the board, online continues to buck the trend.”