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UK Online Sales Grow 13% in 1st Half

Web-only merchants outpace multichannel sellers.

Online sales in the U.K. increased nearly 13 percent during the first half of 2012, and they’re expected to continue growing throughout the year.

Brits spent $54.2 billion during the first six months of the year, a 12.6-percent increase compared to the $48.1 billion buyers spent during the first half of 2011, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Sales in June alone were strong, IMRG reports, reaching $9.4 billion. Officials say wet weather, the Euro 2012 soccer tournament and Father’s Day helped increase sales that month.

They note that spending on gifts in June increased 43 percent, year over year, and 18 percent compared to May of this year. One category that did particularly well during the month was accessories, which increased 47 percent, year over year. It saw the “strongest growth,” says Andrew McClelland, chief operations and policy officer for IMRG.

“But mobile commerce is still the big story here, with average order values comparable to the full website, 356-percent year-on-year growth and retailers seeing mobile sales at circa 8 percent of their total digital income,” he adds.

The report also finds that merchants who only sell online saw an increase in sales of 17 percent compared to 11 percent for sellers who sell on and offline, IMRG reports.

The online retail market is expected to grow by 13 percent overall this year, reaching about $121 billion.

The Olympics are expected to contribute to the online shopping “boom,” IMRG adds. It notes that road closures are encouraging some employers to let staff work from home, prompting predictions of higher online sales.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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