UK online sales surpassed £100 billion for the first time in 2014, according to the e-Retail Sales Index provided by IMRG and Capgemini. The UK managed a 14 per cent increase in online sales year-on-year.
Black Friday was the biggest day for online purchases, generating £810 million in sales as the UK finally embraced the U.S. holiday. IMRG claims Black Friday had a negative impact on the December sales, resulting in less sales year-on-year for the month, although the holiday season between November 2nd to December 27th saw 13 per cent growth year-on-year.
Adgild Hop, Principal, head of retail consulting, Capgemini, commented: “2014 has been an important milestone for the online retail sector, with the £100 billion mark being exceeded for the first time.
“When we consider that almost £1 in every £4 is now spent online, and that a large proportion of the other £3 is influenced by some form of digital interaction, it becomes very clear that retailers need to continue to embrace the opportunity that e-Retail poses.”
In terms of mobile adoption, sales through mobile and tablet grew 55 per cent in 2014, with £8 billion spend on mobile during Christmas. A total of 37 per cent of online sales were made through a mobile device, showing the huge adoption mobile shopping has received over the past four years.
“There is no doubt that this year highlighted a new shape of trade for the Christmas period.” Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis said “Black Friday was John Lewis’s biggest ever week for sales in our 150 year history.”
“Online sales broke records on the day itself and during the early hours of trading there was a 300% increase in traffic to John Lewis’ website.”
Other retailers embraced Black Friday’s deals and managed to gain large returns, but companies in e-retail noticed only a 5 per cent growth; e-readers also noticed lower growth in 2014, as more people go back to traditional book reading.