May 15, 2014, 11:43 AM

Warm April weather leads to more e-commerce sales in the U.K.

Easter also drives online shoppers to buy more beer and spirits online, a new report says.

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Spring breeds optimism and directs more money into e-retailers’ banks accounts.

At least, that was the case last month in the United Kingdom, where e-commerce sales jumped 17% year over year to reach approximately 7.8 billion pounds (US$13.1 billion), according to the latest estimate from technology consultancy Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group, or IMRG.  What the groups called a “short spell of warm weather” produced a 17% year-over-year increase for online apparel sales in April, though no spending figures were given.

"As the UK economy continues to pick up pace, it is evident that the online retail sector is also seeing positive trends during the recovery,” says Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG. “For the fourth consecutive month we have seen annual growth in e-retail sales exceed the performance in the comparable period last year. The same trend is apparent in the number of browsers that convert to buyers, with average online conversion rates between January and April reaching a five-year high.” The report did not detail those conversion rates.

Travel spending increased 6% from the previous year. That growth, however, has slowed from previous years. In April 2013, travel increased 16% from April 2012. The report says UK online shoppers shifted spending from travel to clothes and home items.

The report also says:

• Online sales of home and garden supplies increased 23% year over year.

 

• Web sales of health and cosmetics items increased 32% year over year.

• Online sales of booze increased 19% compared with March 2014, with especially heavy sales taking place on the “run-up to the Easter weekend as shoppers prepared for family get-togethers.” No year-over-year gain was given.

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