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Ecommerce in UK grew 6.7% in 2019

Ecommerce in the United Kingdom grew 6.7 percent last year. This is an all-time low. The discouraging growth rate is especially significant when you compare it to the 11.8 percent growth rate in 2018.

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It wasn’t the best year for the ecommerce in the United Kingdom. This is mostly due to a difficult start, as online retail sales grew only 5.4 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2018. In the second half, ecommerce sales grew 7.6 percent year-on-year.

Strong last months of 2019

November showed a great performance with online sales increasing by 16.4 percent year-on-year. December also achieved good numbers, with a growth rate of 9.4 percent. This is shown in the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

‘A discouraging growth rate’

IMRG says that the good forth fourth quarter wasn’t enough to save ecommerce in the UK from the lowest annual performance seen on record. “A series of disappointing results during the first three quarters of the year contributed to a discouraging growth rate of just 6.7 percent”, it writes.

Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, doesn’t know how ecommerce will do in 2020. “The final quarter has been a lot more positive for online sales growth than it has looked for a long time, plus we’ve had the election and Brexit should actually, finally, become something. There are also major sporting events galore in 2020 which could stimulate retail spending”, he says.

‘7.8 percent growth in 2020’

“Have we turned a corner then, or is it the case that the fundamental problems affecting retail are still yet to be solved in any meaningful way? Time will tell.” The company forecasts an online sales growth of 7.8 percent in 2020.

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