By Michael Moore
British shoppers have recorded the largest growth in online spend for some time, new figures have revealed.
The warmer weather and an increase in must-have gadgets resulted in a 13 percent year-on-year growth for online sales in April, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
This figure was even more surprising as it followed an unprecedented four months of single-digit growth.
Mobile commerce proved to be a particularly important growth sector, with April's figures showing a 52 percent year-on-year increase and eight percent higher than March.
Along with the warmer weather—which provided a boom in the amount spent on new clothing, seeing a 15 percent rise—the report, which collates data from over a hundred major retailers, also highlighted that consumers were unaffected by the uncertainty surrounding the General Election.
The rise was also helped by the traditional travel sector boom, as people booking their summer holidays contributed to a 20 percent year-on-year rise.
"Today's figures show a return to form for online retail," said Alex Smith-Bingham, Capgemini's head of digital, consumer products and retail.
"Shoppers are clearly more confident than ever and in the run up to the general election were feeling upbeat about their prospects for the future. The fact that conversion rates were so high goes to show that people weren't just window shopping—they were going online ready to spend. With the economy continuing to improve I'm confident that online retail is on the up."
Recent research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research estimates that 20 million adults will use their mobile device for payments by the end of the decade, with more than £14 billion expected to be spent in 2018.