For the first time ever in any quarter, online retail sales saw a single digit growth in Q1 2015, the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows. As mobile sales have proven to be the biggest driver behind the online sales growth, retailers should respond to this and focus on and improve the mobile customer experience.
Since April 2000, for fifteen years now, consulting firm Capgemini and the IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) publish the 'IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index'. This index tracks ‘online sales’, defined as “transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels” from any location, including in-store.
Online sales Q1 2015
The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index shows that the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 has seen single-digit growth for each month, the first time ever recorded by the Index for any quarter, as the growth for March was 9%. Compared to last year the growth is even smaller, as online sales only grew 7% over Q1 2014, a 10% drop in growth compared to the 17% increase in online sales in 2014 over 2013.
Mobile biggest driver
The index underlines the big role played by mobile sales, purchases made on a tablet device or smartphone, with a 38% increase of mobile sales in Q1 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. Since 2010, mobile sales have increased significantly and grew with 4,000% in four years between 2010 and 2014, the previous index showed.
“The influence of sales via a tablet or smartphone, which are in effect the main vehicles for growth in the index, is a clear indication of just how valuable mobile platforms have become to the retail customer experience. If it weren’t for mobile, the overall trends for e-retail would be neutral at best,” comments Adgild Hop, Head of Retail Consulting at Capgemini. “Retailers therefore need to expect that as online propositions become increasingly commoditised, the secret to differentiation and competitive advantage increasingly resides in the mobile customer experience.”