March 15, 2013, 3:44 PM

U.K. online sales rise 13% in February

And mobile sales climb 184% year over year, IMRG says.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

The star of online sales growth in the U.K. last month was mobile commerce, according to a new report from global business and technology consultancy Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group.

Mobile sales increased 184% last month compared with February 2012, the report says. Meanwhile, online sales overall grew 13% last month year over year.  The two groups did not release actual spending figures but project 12% e-retail growth for 2013.

The year-over-year sales growth in February 2013 was lower than for previous months. Mobile sales increased 207% year over year in December and 193% in January, IMRG and Capgemini say. Year-over-year growth in 2012 was 304%.

Mobile conversion rates stood at 2.3% last month. During 2011, the average conversion rate via mobile devices was 1%. In November 2012 it surpassed 2% for the first time, and it has not dropped below that figure since, hitting a high of 2.6% in January 2013, the report says.

For online retail in general, the report also says consumers in February were spending less per order than during the same month last year. While nearly all online retail categories recorded double-digit year-over-year growth in February, the average order values were largely down with the exception of those linked to Valentine’s Day. The average order value for gifts, health and beauty, and lingerie categories increased 36%, 8% and 9%, respectively, year over year. However, average order value across all online retailers in the U.K. was at its lowest since October 2008. The report did not provide the actual order values.

Peter Ahl, CEO of online florist SerenataFlowers.com, says his company’s online sales benefited from Valentine’s Day shoppers last month.“We saw robust growth of more than 30% compared to last February, which is one of the floral peak months of the year,” Ahl says. “Our sales from returning customers were up by more than 80%, whereas new customer sales were more modest in both order size and new customer growth.”

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