ONS reveals tenth of sales in February were made online


By The Drum Team, Editorial

March 22, 2012 | 2 min read

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed that 10.7% of all retail sales made in February, excluding automotive fuel, took place online.

This £573.6m online sales figure is an increase from last February, when 8.3% of sales took place online - coming to £432.6m.

The increase in online sales compares to the fact that UK retail sales overall fell by 0.8% in February compared to January.

Adam Stewart, marketing director of Rakuten’s, discussed the increase in online sales: “The ONS figures today show growth in the number of retail sales made via the internet. With more than one in ten retail sales in February 2012 being made online, it is clear that consumers are increasingly turning to e-commerce over traditional channels.

“We believe that one of the key drivers in this phenomenon is the huge growth in adoption of smartphone and tablet devices in recent years.

“The latest data also reports a fall in high street sales, but it is a somewhat short-sighted view to suggest we are witnessing the decline of bricks and mortar stores in the face of online competition. E-commerce can be used to complement and encourage offline sales as well as loyalty.”

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