Last year was a good one for online retail sales in the U.K.
According to data from U.K. eRetail association Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and consulting firm Capgemini, online sales growth on smartphones for British eRetailers was up 47 percent in December.
In all, shoppers spent £133 billion ($164.57 billion) online last year, which was a 15.9 percent increase from £114.75 billion pounds in 2015. IMRG’s projections show that eCommerce sales will surge 14 percent this year, Internet Retailer reported.
“Following a below-expectation year in 2015 (the index growth rate was 10.6 percent), online sales growth has shot back up to an extent that seemed highly unlikely at the start of the year,” IMRG Managing Director Justin Opie explained.
“There are two key factors driving this. The first is that Black Friday became an ‘online’ event in 2015, and this seems to have had a lasting effect on people’s shopping behavior and preferences — our Index has recorded strong growth for online sales ever since that day. The second is that sales through smartphones are continuing to grow at a very strong rate, which is increasing the times and places in which people can browse and engage with online retailers,” Opie continued.
The data shows that, from Nov. 13 through Christmas Eve alone, shoppers spent £25 billion ($30.94 billion), a 16 percent increase in online shopping compared to £21.55 billion during the 2015 holiday season. According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, many factors contributed to that growth, including more shoppers using their mobile devices to make purchases.