Monday 5 August 2019 12:01 am

Innovation boosts online retail sales

Sales at the UK’s largest online retailers have risen 16 per cent to £8.2bn in a year as the popularity of e-commerce-only brands soared.

Retailers that only trade online reported a 31 per cent increase in sales, rising to £3.4bn in the year to 30 June from £2.7bn the previous year.

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Designer fashion platform Farfetch grew the fastest in the period, and increased sales by 76 per cent to £247.7m from £140.8m the previous year, according to the latest research by law firm RPC.

Online retailers benefit from agile business models that allow them to respond quickly to consumer demand and track trend performance.

Sales growth has also been boosted by innovation within the online retail sector. 

Brands have launched initiatives such as “try before you buy” payment methods, subscription retail services, easier returns services and increased investment in social media influencers in order to accelerate growth. 

RPC co-head of retail Jeremy Drew said: “Speed to market and perceived value remain some of the most important factors for consumers and the most successful online fashion businesses are clearly hitting the sweet spot. 

“Fast fashion online retailers will continue to reshape how retailers do business as consumers increasingly favour shopping electronically. 

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“Through fast turnover of products, these retailers are able to maintain high levels of demand through constantly creating, emulating and reinventing trends.” 

Karen Hendy, RPC co-head of retail, added: “Expect more innovation from both online only retailers and bricks and clicks in everything from easy credit to bespoke clothing. It’s great news for the online consumer.”

Main image credit: Getty