Capgemini: First ever single digit online sales growth

21 April 2015

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.

Capgemini - Mobile sales

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.”

Last week highlighted similar research from Strategy&, featuring the decreasing growth of online sales, with the UK e-commerce market possibly plateauing over the coming two years.


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Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

08 April 2019

Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team has completed its first TMT deal of 2019. The professional services firm advised the shareholders of Hosted Desktop UK on their investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Technological disruption and changing consumer behaviour have continued to affect top Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) players in recent years. The industry has seen revenues border on stagnation over the past decade, at 0.4% annual growth since 2008. While the industry is keen to develop new digital services and models to meet market challenges, they face a range of barriers – meaning the recruiting of talent specialising in innovative software and technology has become a key goal for the industry.

Amid this, Hosted Desktop UK (HDUK) provides cloud computing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. The firm’s cloud solutions provide businesses with IT reliability, flexibility, value for money and business continuity. As the firm bids to grow in the UK, with demand for its disruptive technologies high, HDUK has secured a key investment from specialist SME lender Beechbrook Capital.

Grant Thornton advises on deal for high-growth cloud hosting firm

The transaction was Beechbrook Capital’s maiden deal from its latest UK SME credit fund, which supports small and medium-sized businesses in the UK with EBITDA of £1 million and above. Manchester law firms Pannone Corporate (sell-side advice, led by Mark Winthorpe) and DWF LLP (buy-side advice, led by Jonathan Robinson) also advised on the deal, while Grant Thornton’s North West Corporate Finance team advised HDUK’s shareholders.

The deal represents the Grant Thornton branch’s first TMT deal of 2019, with a team comprised of Partner and Head of Corporate Finance Peter Terry, Manager Daniel Brecker and Assistant Manager Cariad Mudford advising HDUK shareholders on the investment. It is the third key deal in the TMT sector that the GT North team has advised on in the last 18 months, following the £16.5 million sale of Salford-based Sonassi to Iomart in December 2017 and NorthEdge Capital’s investment in Yorkshire company iPortalis in August 2018.

Grant Thornton’s Peter Terry said of the news, “As our domestic and working lives become ever-more technology dependent, it’s no surprise that there continues to be strong investor interest in any asset in the cloud computing, data infrastructure and connectivity space… We were pleased to work with Beechbrook Capital on the first deal in its new fund. It shows that despite the well-documented uncertainties in the economy there are still good funding options for dynamic SMEs and their management teams.”