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ONS reveals growth in online retail sales

UK delivery services continued to be busy in February 2012, with online sales continuing to soar despite a slump in the total number of retail sales made, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS Retail Sales Bulletin for February 2012 revealed that just over £1 of every £10 spent by consumers over the course of the month was spent over the internet, representing a record proportion of the market for ecommerce.

It put the weekly average spent online at £573.6 million, up year on year from the £432.6 million - when that was equivalent to 8.3 per cent of all retail sales.

With online sales now reaching 10.7 per cent of the overall spend by consumers, it appears the market has continued to grow as ecommerce enters the mainstream and m-commerce changes the patterns of internet buying.

This boost in online sales came despite the fact that total retail sales fell by 0.4 per cent in value and 0.8 per cent in volume compared to the previous month.

Adam Stewart, managing director of the Rakuten-owned, said: "It is clear that consumers are increasingly turning to ecommerce over traditional channels. We believe that one of the key drivers in this phenomenon is the huge growth in adoption of smartphone and tablet devices in recent years."

Furthermore, he noted that his own company has seen an increase of over 100 per cent in mobile and tablet sales since 2010, indicating the increasing market penetration from smartphones and growing consumer confidence in shopping online over mobiles.

The Internet Advertising Bureau recently revealed that companies are spending considerably more on mobile advertising than they have done in the past, with the figure soaring by 157 per cent over the course of 2011.

Source : Paul Burn – MyHermes

24 March 2012
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