Skip to content

Overview of Internet retail sales in 2014

An overview of Internet retail sales, focusing on average weekly spending and Internet sales as a proportion of all retailing.

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are published each month within the Retail Sales release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI internet tables and include:

  • a seasonally adjusted value index, and

  • year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain.

Internet average weekly sales

The annual average weekly spending online in 2014 was £718.7 million. This was an increase of 11.8% compared with 2013. The annual average weekly spending online in 2009 was £341.7 million, which means that this amount has more than doubled in the last 5 years.

For every pound spend on internet sales:

  • 15 pence was spent in food stores

  • 37 pence was spent in non-food stores: 
    - 9 pence from department stores 
    - 14 pence from textile, clothing and footwear stores 
    - 5 pence from household goods stores 
    - 9 pence from other stores

  • 48 pence was spent in non-store retailing

Figure 1: Contributions to average weekly spending online in 2014 from different retail sectors (£ million)

Figure 1: Contributions to average weekly spending online in 2014 from different retail sectors (£ million)

Download chart

The largest increase in 2014 was for textile, clothing and footwear stores, where spending rose by 17.2%. There was a decrease of 1.5% for other stores, while household goods stores recovered from a decrease of 7% in 2013 with an increase of 10.7% this year.

Table 1: Annual average weekly spend online (£ million)

Category 2011 2012 2013 2014
All retailing 483.0 556.9 643.0 718.7
All food 74.4 86.8 97.8 109.2
All non-food 190.4 214.0 239.5 263.2
  Department stores 34.1 41.6 54.1 60.7
  Textile, clothing and footwear stores 62.8 75.1 85.4 100.1
  Household goods stores 29.5 34.2 31.8 35.2
  Other stores 64.0 63.1 68.3 67.3
Non-store retailing 218.2 256.0 305.7 346.3

Download table

The average weekly spending online in December 2014 was £741.9 million, an increase of 8% compared to December 2013. However, this value was lower than the average spend of £763.3 million in November 2014, as a consequence of the seasonal adjustment. The non-seasonally adjusted value was higher in December, but the month-on-month increase was lower than usual.

Figure 2: Monthly average weekly spend online, for seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted data (£ million)

Figure 2: Monthly average weekly spend online, for seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted data (£ million)

Download chart

The 8% year-on-year increase for all retailing in December 2014 was the lowest year-on-year growth since November 2012, when it increased by only 6.9%.  A contributing factor for this low growth is that the ‘Black Friday’ phenomenon was included in the December 2013 reporting period, but was not included in the estimates for December 2014. The online spend in department stores decreased by 2.2% in December 2014 compared with December 2013.  This is the first time the year-on-year spend has decreased for department stores.

Internet sales as a proportion of all retailing

In 2014, the proportion of Internet sales accounted for 11.2% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared with 10.4% in 2013. In line with the average weekly spend online the largest increase was for textile, clothing and footwear stores, with a rise of 13.7%. The largest decrease was in non-food stores which contracted by 8.9% on the previous year.

Table 2: Annual proportion of total sales made online (%)

Category 2011 2012 2013 2014
All retailing 8.3 9.3 10.4 11.2
All food 2.7 3.1 3.4 3.7
All non-food 6.9 7.7 8.4 8.8
  Department stores 6.6 7.7 9.5 10.1
  Textile, clothing and footwear stores 7.8 9.2 10.2 11.6
  Household goods stores 5.1 5.9 5.7 5.9
  Other stores 7.6 7.5 7.9 7.2
Non-store retailing 62.1 66.4 67.9 69.4

Download table

The proportion of non-store retailing seems to be coming to a plateau when examined over the last two years. Although it is the largest contributor to Internet sales, it has only risen by 4.5% despite an overall rise in all retailing for Internet sales of 20.4% over the same period.

Figure 3: Proportion of online sales made online, for seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted data (%).

Figure 3: Proportion of online sales made online, for seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted data (%).

Download chart

As shown in Figure 3, the proportion of retail sales made online has steadily risen over time. When looking at non-seasonally adjusted data, the online shopping period seems to have extended for the festive season over the last couple of years. There is a marked increase in October before peaking in November then it tails off rapidly and stabilises after the post-Christmas sales.

 

Categories: Economy, National Accounts, National Income, Expenditure and Output
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.