December e-tail spend to surpass £10bn despite retail website problems

The IMRG-Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index predicts that consumer online spend will surpass £10 billion in December, despite research suggesting leading retailer websites are performing below par.

As Christmas approaches, the nine-week period covering November and December is expected to see £20.4 billion spent online in total, despite a separate study indicating that retailer website performance has not been at its optimum in 2013.

Bob Dowson, director of NCC Group’s website performance division, commented: “Time really is money when it comes to website performance.

“The top retailers are losing revenues with every minute their website is down and every unnecessary second their website takes to load. Worryingly, this poor performance is a trend we’ve seen all through 2013.”

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting & technology at Capgemini, said: “The impact of mobile devices in 2013 has been very significant, and this forecast is in direct response to the overwhelming growth we have seen in sales via tablets and smartphones over the last few years.

“The huge strides in technology and the improved mobile services from retailers, such as digital wallets, mobile coupons and location based services, have all played a major role in driving growth through these channels. Improved mobile sites have made shopping on the move much easier, so we are also seeing an increase in click & collect services.”