Mobile sales 'propelling online-only retailers'

Growth of online-only retailers is up 24.8 per cent year-on-year from January to June 2016, compared to just 9.5 per cent growth for their multichannel counterparts. This is according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Sales Index, which attributes the success of online-only retailers to their investment in mobile optimisation and the ease in which consumers can make purchases through their smartphones.

The gap between the two groups reached a record high in June 2016, when growth for online-only retailers (32.4 per cent) was a full 23 percentage points ahead of the rate for the multichannel retailers compared with June 2015 – significantly higher than the average gap between the two groups over the past 12 months (13 per cent).

The average basket value for online-only retailers is also £6 higher than the multichannel retailers for January to June 2016.

Andy Mulcahy, editor at IMRG, explained: “Another trend that we observed just before this gap emerged was a sharp upturn in sales growth through smartphones – and all the evidence points to this being a significant factor. As smartphones have evolved from being used in retail primarily for research purposes to being major devices for completing purchases too, the gap between online-only and multichannel retailers has grown and remained consistently wide.

“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.”

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