Marketing Director at ePages GmbH
04 April 2012 11:31am
Hi, I've looked in to various sources of research and had very different results for the UKs online retail spending each year.
The Office of National Statistics says £26.8bn ($42.6bn) in 2011.
However, IMRG say £68.2bn in 2011 ($108bn)
Also a recent Econsultancy article said it was $102 billion in 2010 (source: Boston Consulting Group) but UK ONS says £22.3bn ($35.4 bn)
Does anyone know what variances are commonly involved in such figures and how they are so dissimilar from the UK ONS so much?
My only guess can be the UK ONS doesn't include travel sales, however, I can't verify this on the sources.
Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy
11 April 2012 10:55am
Thanks for your question Joern.
I've had a look at the differences between these reports, and the main reason for the discrepancy between these figures is because of the strict definitions to which the Office for National Statistics has to work to, which limits the scope of what is defined as "retail".
In the ONS methodology, retail is defined as "the sale of goods to the general public for household consumption." By using this definition, travel does not feature in the ONS retail statistics (which accounts for a large proportion of e-commerce spending).
More information on the ONS methodology and the UK Standard Industrial Classification can be found at the page below.
Furthermore, these definitions are only updated every five or so years, which represents a long time in the world of digital marketing and e-commerce. This provides consistency for decision makers, but prevents pragmatic estimations of certain sectors of the economy.
I hope this helps, and any further questions do get in touch.
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