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Ecommerce UK shows strongest Q1 growth since 2011

The ecommerce industry in the United Kingdom has seen the strongest first quarter growth since three years. Sales in the first quarter of this year grew 17% compared to the first quarter of 2013 and during the first three months of this year the industry was worth 28 billion euros.

In March alone the ecommerce industry in the UK saw an annual growth of 18% and a 15% increase on February, research from IMRG and Capgemini shows. There were a number of retail segments that did very well during the first three months of this year. Accessories (+34%), Footwear (+22%), Health and Beauty (+23%) and Home and Garden (+21%) all showed impressive year-on-year growth. One of the things that really stood out in March, was the sales of things for the garden: during that month the sector grew 109% compared with February.

Online shoppers spend more per purchase
Why did the first quarter of 2014 showed such good figures? Well, it’s more about online shoppers spending more per purchase, rather than more people shopping online. The average basket value hit 104 euros in March. The last time the average basket value was this high, was back in September last year.

More mcommerce, bigger conversion rates
During the first three months of this year, there were also more sales taking place via mobile devices. Mcommerce in the UK recorded a year-on-year increase of 53% (65% when excluding travel) last month. The average conversion rate reached a five year high of 4.2% last month, so you might conclude at the moment things go well with the ecommerce industry in the UK.

“With online transaction values reaching the highest level recorded in six months, and the average conversion rate for March at pre-recession levels, these results not only demonstrate an overall increase in consumer confidence, but also that online shopping is becoming a larger part of our everyday lives”, says Tina Spooner, CIO at IMRG.

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