UK online sales were up in March thanks to Mother's day gift-buying and gardening

Alys Key
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Gardening gear and gifts for mothers drove solid growth in online sales (Source: Getty)

Those on the hunt for for mother's day gifts and keen gardeners pushed online sales in the UK up by 13 per cent year-on-year in March.

The run-up to Mother's day on 26 March drove health and beauty sales up by 15 per cent, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

Sunny weather also inspired a 14 per cent rise in the garden sector. While ecommerce in the overall home and gardens sector was up by 10 per cent, growth was slower than the 26 per cent rate seen this time last year.

Shoppers were using their phones and tablets to buy more, as the average value of an online basket climbed up 18 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

Justin Opie, managing director at IMRG, said: “It seems shoppers are getting more confident about checking out with higher baskets through these devices. The reasons for this are most likely related to better-performing mobile sites, with many retailers focusing on making the experience as convenient and straightforward as possible on these devices, but it will also no doubt be being influenced by next-day delivery – it has become fairly common for online retailers to offer next-day for free if the total spend is above a set threshold.”

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