The value of online retail sales grew 18.9% in October compared with the same month last year – the highest year-on-year growth rate for any month since Black Friday 2014.
The latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index found the growth was up on a comparatively low rate in October 2015, when sales grew just 8.7% on the preceding year.
Despite this, the index recorded its lowest conversion rate – the percentage of website visits that result in sales – since February 2013, at just 4.1%. The study said this may suggest that, ahead Black Friday later this month (25 November), increasing numbers of people are visiting company websites to browse and build wish-lists.
The index points out that although this may initially seem to contradict the high overall growth, it may have been sustained by a significant increase in both the number of site visitors and the amount of impulse purchasing completed at full price.
A renewed focus on higher-ticket items – combined with impulse purchasing at full price – may help to explain an increase in the Index’s average basket value to £90, the highest since March 2011.
Across mobile channels, tablets made a resurgence, with sales completed on mobile devices up 6% on the same time last year and 18% month-on-month.
Bhavesh Unadkat, management consultant at Capgemini, said: “It’s very reassuring to see the market perform so well. Despite some of the economic uncertainty we’ve experienced since the summer, consumer confidence clearly remains strong.”