UK consumers hit the internet to do their shopping in October, according to official figures released by the British Retail Consortium, as shoppers started to get ready for the festive season.

The BRC-KPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor for October revealed that almost a fifth of UK retail sales took place over the internet, with sales of non-food products growing by 9.2 percent, compared to the same time last year. October growth this year was slightly lower than 2014, where online sales increased 15.4 percent over the previous year.

Some 19.1 percent of sales were online, up from 18.4 percent in October 2014, marking the “highest penetration rate” since November 2014. Furniture was the fastest growing category online, followed by clothing, which posted its highest penetration rate since January.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive, British Retail Consortium, said: "The growth of non-food online sales showed a loss of momentum in October, even if it was less severe than the one experienced by stores. However, October 2015 was right on trend with the online retail sales Christmas run-up we have seen in the last couple of years: a record proportion of purchases were made online.

“The deep penetration rate can be partially attributed to customers looking for an online bargain in October's sales. Consumers know that retailers' websites are always striving to optimise usability, making online a sought after destination to hunt for items on promotion. As we approach Black Friday retailers will be focusing on ensuring there is a successful fulfilment structure in place to satisfy the inevitably large online orders.”





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