Shoppers set to spend 17 per cent more in 2014

Online retail sales for 2013 have thumped expectations - as spending jumped by 16 per cent to £91bn compared with the previous year and now accounting for almost a quarter (21 per cent) of the total retail market.

Those are from the latest online retail findings ofIMRG and Capgemini, which were revealed today at a round-table event in Soho attended by the online bosses of companies including John Lewis, tailor Moss Bros and feelunique.com

Spending was further boosted in December when shoppers spent £11bn – 18 per cent compared with the same month last year

Clothing and electrical goods recorded particularly solid results, with a year-on-year increase of 17 per cent in clothing and 18 per cent in electricals, fuelled by the popularity of new budget tablet devices.

The amount spend on tablets and smartphones doubled in December to £3bn and as the graph shows below, all growth came from mobile rather than traditional desktop devices:

At the moment, smartphones make up around 20 per cent of mobile sales with tablets accounting for 80 per cent. However with an 186 per cent leap in smartphone sales this is set to increase. (131 per cent was the growth on tablets).

The online boss of shoe retailer Schuh, Sean McKee commented that there had been a further “democratisation” of tablets at Christmas thanks to the launch of new value tablets such as Tesco’s Hudl.

He added that online shoppers were “age agnostic” and that there were now a lot of older generation consumers shopping online for the first time using tablets, having skipped desktops and laptops.

The graph below shows that there was no clear winner between pure online players and multi-channel retailers although shoppers tended to spend slightly more with online players - perhaps because their delivery charges are often higher and therefore consumers spend more to justify the delivery cost.

For 2014, Capgemini and IMRG predict a 17 per cent growth in online retail sales totaling £107bn.