Online retail continued its double digit growth in April, helped by a strong performance from the lingerie sector.
Overall, internet sales achieved a year-on-year increase of 11%, the latest IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index says.
The growth was driven by the continued consumer appetite for accessories and footwear, which reported respective year-on-year increases of 25% and 19%.
But it was the lingerie industry that put in the most impressive performance, shooting up 32% year-on-year, a 19% growth on the previous month.
The news follows British Retail Consortium’s announcement last week that underwear and hosiery had survived a sales dip on the high street in April.
Cold weather kept shoppers away from spring/summer clothing ranges, with dresses, shorts and T-shirts showing significant declines, but knitted leggings and essentials like socks and underwear “continued to do well”, the BRC said.
In the mobile sector, smartphone sales continued to surge at the expense of tablet sales, according to the Index.
Sales on smartphones grew 83% while tablets grew just 3%, falling way short of the 32% annual growth recorded in April 2015. However, the conversion rate for tablets was 1.7 percentage points higher than for smartphones.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG said: “The growth in April was probably slightly ahead of where we may have anticipated given the cold weather, with a number of sectors outperforming the total market, including apparel where sales growth was up +15%. Year-to-date, overall e-retail growth is actually 2% ahead of our 11% growth forecast for 2016.
“A definite trend we have been recording so far this year is the displacement of sales from tablet devices – with sales growth just +3% through these devices – over to smartphones, where sales continue to be very strong. Larger mobile screens and better optimised sites seem to be working to increase confidence in using these devices for a wide range of activities.”