Online sales grew 15% year-on-year in March with strong sales across all sectors, particularly in home and garden, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

An estimated £4.5bn was spent online in the month, compared to £3.9bn in March 2009.

Improving weather buoyed online sales, particularly for home and garden retailers, with 42% more spent in that sector in March. Shoppers investing in their summer wardrobes helped online sales for clothing retailers grow 27% on February this year.  

Chris Webster, Vice president, retail consulting and technology for Capgemini Chris Webster said: “These are solid figures, and prove the continued resilience of online retail. The retailers themselves, particularly those with both an online and a store presence, have fought hard to attract and retain customers, even in a period of political uncertainty.

“As the weather starts to improve, this is having an impact on sales of garden furniture as people plan for summer barbeques.”

Jonathon Brown, Head of Online Selling at John Lewis Jonathan Brown added: “March was another very good month for, helped by continued strong sales in core categories, the effect of Easter and the sustained focus on driving forward our online Fashion business.

“Overall sales increased 48% on last year with great results across all areas of the assortment.  Most notable was fashion, which driven by new ranges such as the launch of Joe Casely-Hayford (exclusive to John Lewis) and other premium brands, continued to flourish and delivered a year on year increase of well over 100%.”