UK online sales grew by just seven per cent in Q1 2015, compared to 17% in the same quarter last year, reports NetImperative.
The figures, sourced from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, will be seen as disappointing for many retailers – especially since 2014 saw customers break online spending records with a total spend of £104 billion.
However, some sectors bucked the trend, reporting impressive gains on 2014.
Buoyed by Mother’s Day, items in the gift sector saw year-on-year growth of 20%, reaching a peak of 48% the week before the big day.
The travel sector enjoyed similar levels of prosperity, reporting year-on-year growth of 18% – in 2014, it was just six per cent.
Overall growth was driven by the continuing performance of the smartphone and tablet market, with mobile sales up 38% year-on-year.
Tina Spooner, IMRG’s CIO said: “There are a number of factors that may be influencing this apparent slowdown in online retail growth – such as a maturing market or uncertainty around the upcoming election.”
However, Spooner believes growth in the travel market may be driven by positive economic conditions. She noted: “Travel growth […] was the strongest we’ve seen for that quarter since we started tracking this sector in 2009 – this suggests that consumers may be feeling more confident in how the economic recovery is progressing and spending out on holidays again.”
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