In addition, the latest Sellerdeck survey of small and medium businesses selling online shows the quantity of orders processed by each e-tailer increased by 12% on average in the first quarter over the same period in 2010. Notably respondents also reported their average shopping cart value decreasing by over 3% during the period from £71.17 in the first quarter 2010 to £68.82 in the first quarter 2011, indicating shoppers are becoming more restrained in their spending.
If the two sets of figures are compared by month from 2010 to 2011 a very different picture emerges. January was very strong with a 20% increase in sales and 17% increase in orders processed, in contrast to February and March which both saw only a 4% increase in sales and 10% growth in the number of orders.
Nick Kington, managing director at Sellerdeck comments, "The quarter started very strongly, perhaps as a bounce back following the difficulties experienced due to the weather in December 2010. However in February and March there were signs that consumers might be starting to rein in their spending. With the government cutbacks starting in earnest and the possibility of an increase in interest rates the outlook for the second quarter of 2011 is looking less optimistic. But internet shopping still seems to be more resilient than the high street given that the British Retail Consortium reported a 1.9% decrease in sales this March."