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Online shopping thrives ahead of physical stores reopening

By Huw Hughes

7 Apr 2021

Shoppers are continuing to increase their online spending ahead of non-essential retailers in England reopening on April 12, new data reveals.

According to UK software company Salesfire, online retailers saw a 13 percent month-on-month increase in orders in March, while revenue and online traffic were up 19 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

The fashion sector did particularly well, with clothing and accessories retailers reporting a 222 percent year-on-year increase in sales on March 31 ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

It comes as people prepare for the easing of lockdown rules next week, when retailers, outdoor hospitality, hairdressers and gyms can reopen after months of closure.

“With most of the country having spent a cold winter indoors, away from friends and family, the prospect of warmer days with the rule of six being brought back is enough to encourage consumers to spend again,” Salesfire CEO Rich Himsworth said in a release.

“The prospect of restrictions lifting over the next few months is exciting for everyone, and we expect to see people treating themselves to some new items ahead of getting back to ‘normal’.”

Commenting on what he thinks the future of retail will look like, Himsworth said: “We’ve not known a high street since the Brexit transition was completed, this is another factor to consider when it comes to consumer and retailer behaviour.

“We’ve also seen the high street continue to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and we may see trends reverse, with online stores popping up on high streets. For example, I don’t think it’s unlikely that we see the likes of Asos open brick and mortar stores.”

Salesfire collects data from 3,000 online retailers, across a range of sectors including health and beauty, fashion and electronics.

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