Online sales continue to climb

online shopping

Online retailers are selling more clothing and electronics as overall web-based sales climbed 15.7 per cent from June - but rainy weather lead to a record fall in alcohol sales.

According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales index, UK shoppers had a 4.2 billion online shopping spree last month 16.8 per cent higher than the same month last year, suggesting the recession is encouraging at least some people to shop online.

"Online retail continues to outperform the high street with e-retail growth in July exceeding the yearly growth seen in July 2008," Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG, said in a statement.

"It is evident that online merchants are becoming more sophisticated in their marketing efforts and email communications to their customers, the result of which can be seen in higher conversion rates, particularly in the clothing sector," she added.

Sales of clothing and footware helped drive the climb, with shoppers spending 18 per cent more on new apparel than last month. The report suggested new targeting strategies helped online shops sell off their summer stock, while shoppers are now more confident buying clothes off the web.

Another strong area was electronics, which saw a sales growth of 19 per cent on year.

The damp weather hasn't helped booze sales, however. While the summer normally marks a high point for online alcohol sales, the rainy weather pushed sales down 23 per cent on year - the first drop the sector has seen for in July in five years.

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