Online sales have shot back to double figure growth, rising 13 percent year on year after being stuck in single digit growth for four months, driven in part by a huge surge in people buying online via their smartphones and tablets.
Figures reported in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealed that a four percent sales spike in April over the previous month helped to disrupt a trend of flat growth for the year.
Online purchases made on mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, rose by eight percent in April over March's figures, and this in turn was a huge 52 percent increase year on year.
This suggests people are more confident buying via their mobile devices, rather than on desktop machines, and that efforts by retailers to make their websites more responsive to mobile devices are paying off.
Growth in sales during April was reported to be the highest since 2007.
The Index also showed that an estimated £640bn has been spent online since April 2000 when its tracking of online sales first began. Online sales have risen by 11,000 percent since the start of the millennium.
Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail at Capgemini, explained that the uncertainty around the General Election did little to stifle spending by online shoppers.
"Today's figures show a return to form for online retail," he said. "Shoppers are clearly more confident than ever and, in the run up to the General Election, were feeling upbeat about their prospects for the future."
Conversion rates, whereby online shoppers actually purchase rather than look at products on websites, rose to 4.6 percent, the highest they have been this year.
Smith-Bingham said that this boost in conversion rates indicated that people are going online to buy and not just browse, adding: "With the economy continuing to improve I'm confident that online retail is on the up."
Warmer weather also contributed to April's sales rise as more people went online to buy seasonal garments, which drove 15 percent growth in online clothing sales for the month.
The travel sector also saw a healthy rise in online sales, up 20 percent year on year propelled by people booking summer holidays.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, explained that the slowdown in growth over recent months was down to market maturity, increased competition, and less discounting resulting in consumers holding out for sales.
"However, it is too early to say whether the single-digit growth recorded during Q1 was merely a blip, and we will be monitoring developments very closely over the coming months," she said.
Sales slowdown or otherwise, retailers appear keen to invest in online opportunities, as seen with clothing brand Fat Face which adopted NetSuite's responsive web design software to boost e-commerce on smartphones and tablets.
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