IMRG Cap Gemini’s e-Retail Sales Index has revealed that shoppers in the UK continued to increase their online spending in January 2011, with sales reaching £5.1bn.

The January report showed a year-on-year sales increase of 21% during the month, with the travel sector unsurprisingly seeing the biggest rise in e-commerce trade – up 31% compared to the same period in 2010.

Home & Garden was the most popular retail sector with an increase of 56% year-on-year and an average spend of £120.

Tina Spooner, Director of Information, IMRG, said “ While the index results in January show a very encouraging start to the year for e-retailers, it is important to note this strong growth is on the back of the lowest-ever annual growth recorded in January last year when the e-retail market grew by just 4.6%.

“Multichannel retailers performed well last month with sales growing by almost a third compared with January last year, but the pureplays and catalogue retailers saw annual growth dip to 8%, following a year of steady growth in 2010.”

Compared with December 2010 both multichannel and online only stores had a dip in sales, dropping 24% and 27% respectively, however both showed year-on-year increases in January.

The average basket for mutlichannel retailers increased by 2% year-on-year to £195, compared to online only retailers whose average basket size declined by 27% to £92.

Gareth Jones, Retail Director of Shop Direct Group, commented “We have maintained the strong sales performance that we saw over the Christmas period.

“Sales via mobile devices have been particularly pleasing and have continued to show impressive growth, with a 320% year-on-year increase being recorded for January.”

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com