Strong demand for clothing and footwear contributed to a 16% year-on-year jump in UK online sales in August, according to new data released today (22 September). 

Shoppers spent an estimated GBP3.8bn (US$6.2bn) during the month, the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index said.

However, while total month-on-month sales fell by 10% in August, online shoe sales rose by 3% as parents stocked up on back-to-school uniforms.

"The continued annual growth in the online retail market is evidence that this medium is withstanding the challenges of the economic downturn and the retailers that continue to expand and improve their online presence will no doubt reap the benefits during the festive trading period," notes Tina Spooner, director of information at IMRG.

The trade group also points out that clothing sales are being helped by greater choice, price competitiveness and convenience from buying online.

"It is no coincidence that in these sectors retailers are making the greatest strides to improve their online offer, with improved visuals, enhanced product information, more convenient delivery and return models and an increasing use of web 2.0 techniques," adds Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini UK.