Pureplay retailers increased revenues by 24.8% for the first six months of this year compared with 2015, while multichannel retailers increased sales by 9.5%, a new report has found.
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The gap between the two groups of retailers over the past 12 months is more than 15 percentage points, found the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.
Multichannel retailers recorded levels of growth that far exceeded those of online-only retailers across all sectors when the Index started in 2010 but it was reversed in 2012 and pureplayers have pushed ahead over a sustained period.
During the first quarter of 2015, the index experienced a downturn and since then, growth for online-only retailers recovered steadily, accelerating from July 2015.
Bhavesh Unadkat, management consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini, suggested that online retailers have benefited from not having old legacy systems to deal with and not having a multi-store operation to deal with as well as fewer layers of control and faster decision making, as businesses are generally younger.
“With their nature of the business online only, retailers have focused heavily on digital customer experience and development of mobile, and these areas have grown significantly providing those who have done it well with reams of benefits,” he said.
Andy Mulcahy, editor at IMRG, said: “While multichannel retailers have been under pressure to focus on rolling out services such as click-and-collect and ensure it operates efficiently it seems that, generally speaking, online-only retailers have been able to invest more in mobile optimisation and are reaping the benefits as these devices continue to grow in importance for shoppers.
“It shows just how key smartphones have become to the overall retail experience.”
The index tracks retail across all sectors, not just clothing.