The online retail industry in the UK ended January on a high note, seeing sales increase by 18% year-on-year.
The growth of the online retail industry will likely be sustained throughout the year, seeing a 17% increase for the full year 2014, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Capgemini predict in a new report.
Online travel sales
According to the research, British consumers spent an average of £78 online in January, a rise from £76 the previous month and £74 a year earlier. Travel sales experienced the most outstanding growth, improving by 233% month-on-month – the highest monthly growth rate ever.
UK top for online B2C sales
The United Kingdom was recently crowned by eMarketer as the leader amongst western European countries in terms of B2C sales, which now stand at $109.63 billion (£65.75 billion) annually. This is nearly twice the figure recorded by the runner-up in this category, Germany, which generates sales of $58 billion (£34.78 billion). However consumers' willingness to spend more on the web is not the only factor boosting the UK market; the use of various devices for digital purchases also plays a part, eMarketer notes.
According to the Riverbed study conducted by Loudhouse Research, Britain is again Europe's leader when it comes to online shopping across all devices except desktops. The country also stands out in smart device usage – specifically tablets. These devices contribute to 10.4% of e-commerce revenues, as 42% of digital customers now use tablets, compared to 31% in Germany and 24% in France.
The United Kingdom is also the leader in smartphone usage as these gadgets have become the go-to device for shopping online.