A huge increase in smartphone orders has boosted revenues at an eCommerce giant in the North West.

Annual revenue at Very.co.uk increased 9.9 per cent to £1.39 billion, driving revenue growth at parent company Shop Direct to 1.5 per cent and almost £2bn.

The 8.5 per cent increase in Very customers to 2.82m boosted the group’s total customers by 2.2 per cent to more than 4m.

Smartphone orders drove the increase in Very customers, increasing 39.5 per cent to represent 25.4 per cent of total orders across all devices.

Shop Direct said that on average, app customers visit the site twice as frequently as other customers and the app has a ten per cent better conversion rate compared with other sales channels.

Sales via mobile devices now account for three-quarters (74 per cent) of total online sales compared with 69 per cent in 2017.

Shop Direct also operates Littlewoods.com, VeryExclusive.co.uk and LittlewoodsIreland.ie.

“Four months into my role as CEO, I’m hugely excited by the potential of Shop Direct. Today we’re announcing results that show a good underlying performance in a competitive external market,” said Henry Birch.

“Impressive growth in Very, and increases in group revenue and EBITDA show the resilience of our business, which is mobile-first, multi-category, and both a retailer and a credit provider.

“In the last year we’ve become an even more customer-centric organisation, growing customer numbers to over four million.

“We’re trading in line with our expectations and preparing for the important peak season. It’s a changing and competitive market but our growth trajectory and differentiated customer offer gives us confidence for the year ahead.”

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