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Warm weather heats online sales in February

Warmer weather in February drove a 9.4% increase in online sales year on year.

The growth was the strongest in the last six months, the IMRG Capgemini E-retail Sales Index shows.

Clothing spend remained relatively flat, up 0.9% on February 2018.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant, customer engagement, at Capgemini said: “February is usually a transitional month as spring lines take over the shop floor and clearance continues, especially online. In this regard, it was interesting to see that conversion was up over 20% on the year but sales only grew by 9%.

“This performance is driven by ongoing uncertainty ahead around Brexit outcomes and looming interest rate rises, feeding customer caution. The result is that people keep shopping for basics, essentials and discounts in the mainstream, but stop shopping for ‘inspiration’ or at higher price points – both of which lead to a decrease in conversion.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG, added: “Discounting had been very widespread across retail since July 2018 because of the difficult and unique trading environment that retailers are facing. Following January clearance, many either switched off discounting or at least reduced the prominence of it – and it’s the multichannel retailers that seem to have navigated the shift more successfully.”

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