Online retailers continued to benefit from the faltering economy last month as shoppers moved to the channel to seek out bargains, but there were warning signs of a slowdown in the e-commerce growth rate, according to industry figures released today.
The latest monthly e-retail sales index compiled by industry body the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and consultancy Capgemini recorded growth of nine per cent from February to March.
But the annual growth rate of 19 per cent is lower than in previous years, showing that e-commerce has also been affected by the economic downturn.
“Online is proving to be a key battleground for the retail sector during these tough times," said Mike Petevinos, Capgemini UK's head of consulting for retail.
"Retailers that have developed their online offering have been able to reap the benefits of growing trade online and have also increased their influence over high-street trading, as consumers turn to the internet to support their purchase decisions."
In terms of specific sectors, clothing, footwear and accessories was the strongest performing, recording 28 per cent growth from February and 26 per cent year-on-year, while gifts also did well, growing 18 per cent month-on-month and a massive 118 per cent from the same time last year.
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