Shoppers are now choosing to buy more online
Shoppers are now choosing to buy more online

UK online sales grew by 18.8%, compared to the same month last year, as the weather warmed up in April and sales moved further online, the latest IMRG figures suggest.

The etail trade association says year-on-year ecommerce growth for the month is the highest seen since November 2016, and came despite Easter falling early, in March. It’s ahead of the 17% average in the three months to April, and the 12 month average of 13.1%.

“Growth in online retail sales revenue has been markedly higher than expected throughout 2018 so far,” said Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG. “One reason is likely to be related to a turnaround in economic fortunes – while inflation outstripped wage growth for most of 2017, the gap has closed in recent months and wag growth was actually higher than inflation in March 2018. This means that, one the whole, UK shoppers should be feeling a bit more confident in making purchases. This is reflected in the data we are tracking – if we look at the last six months (July to December) of 2017, online retail sales growth was 12.2%. The first four months has come in at 16.2%.

“What has been very apparent is that it is online retail that is benefiting, while the high street is facing a sustained downturn. Up until now, there have been multiple reasons to suspect this split in performance may have been influenced by various external – and therefore temporary – factors; the above average rainfall…