Aug 17, 2017
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IMRG Capgemini e-tail index shows good month for fashion, m-commerce soars

Aug 17, 2017

Online sales were up again in the UK during July, which is hardly surprising news. But given how tough times have been for the fashion sector its was encouraging to see that fashion did particularly well.

Mobile device e-shopping surged last month

Online sales overall rose 11% year-on-year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. That was the lowest July growth since 2013 and seriously lagged the 18.6% leap seen a year ago. And it dragged down the overall rise for the year-to-date to 12%.

But conversion rates for e-tail were significantly higher, especially for clothing. But while that’s good news it could also suggest that the increase was down to the summer clearance sales.

The overall conversion rate hit 5.8%, 21% higher than July 2016. Conversion in fashion was up 43% and in home & garden it soared 83%. But revenue rises were slower, again, further evidence that increased conversion was driven by markdowns. In fact, discounting activity was even higher than usual this year as Amazon Prime Day was even more successful than in previous years.

Crucially, mobile played a greater part in this year’s activity with the average basket value (ABV) on smartphones up 21% and on tablets it rose 17%, suggesting that we shouldn’t write off tablets as a key mobile device just yet.
So  while Amazon Prime Day affected consumers, did it also affect retailers?

IMRG’s MD Justin Opie said: “87% of respondents to a recent retailer survey we ran claimed that the event has not led them to adapt their summer sales strategies – it does after all already fall during one of retail’s major discounting periods.”

Yet Opie highlighted how Amazon can’t be ignored by its rivals as overall growth of 11% across e-tail was way behind Amazon’s 60% for the 30 hours of Prime Day.

Meanwhile, Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement design for Capgemini, said that the the pound almost running level with the euro means luxury purchases and ‘nice-to-haves’ were hit hardest last month: “While conversion rates are up broadly speaking, this is only with repeat buys or necessities. Even with enticing luxury offers made available to try and compete with Prime Day, more browsing choice led to a further dip in conversion for these categories with consumers browsing more but buying proportionately less.”

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