Online sales increased 16% in April driven in particular by the beer, wine and spirits category.
However, electricals declined for the first time since July 2011, falling 3% year-on-year. The “disappointing” performance comes off the back of a “very strong” April 2012, which benefitted from the launch of the iPad3.
Online retailers in general outperformed their multichannel counterparts in April, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Pureplay retailers’ sales rose 20% in April while multichannel retailers experienced a 14% uplift in online sales.
“This suggests that shoppers are becoming more confident in the internet as a transaction medium, and a result of the increased adoption of new technologies and services introduced by online only retailers,” the report found.
Growth in mobile sales slowed last month, from 243% in March to 131% in April. The report found that “a slowdown in growth is natural as the use of m-retail and mobile technology becomes more widespread”.
IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said: “The solid Index performance in April is ahead of our 12% e-retail growth forecast for 2013, resulting in average growth of 15% year-to-date. We expect UK.com to continue to dominate the retail picture as the recovery gathers greater momentum.”
Chris Webster, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said: “April’s results revealed the influence the shift in temperature and school holidays can have on the retail sector. With the holiday period falling at the start of April and warm weather following in the second half, we have seen uplifts in holidays, home & garden, alcohol and apparel driving the Index.”