Online retail growth stays strong in June amid World Cup fever

June online retail sales

A combination of warm, sunny weather and World Cup fever has allowed online retail sales to continue its strong growth throughout June, with sales up 16.9 per cent year-on-year.

Last month’s growth also meant that online retail sales have been on the up for the whole first half of 2018.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, gardening and clothing sectors saw the largest increase – with 49.9 per cent and 19.3 per cent year-on-year growth respectively – as people spent more time outside enjoying the weather.

Additionally, multichannel and online-only retailers performed well, growing 14.8 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively.

Health & beauty and gifts sales were slightly more subdued, growing 9.9 per cent and 10.5 per cent year-on-year respectively.

However, electrical and home sectors recorded the lowest June year-on-year growth in the last five years, a reminder of caution during political uncertainty and upcoming interest rate increases.

Nonetheless, the overall index growth average of 18.2 per cent for last three months compares to the six and 12-month average growth of 16.8 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively.

“June has seen continued buoyant sales online, strongly influenced by fashion and seasonal items,” Capgemini principal consultant Bhavesh Unadkat said.

“This has boosted non-essential spend while customers make the most of the buzz created by the good weather and the World Cup.

“We might question what the longer term effect is as Barclaycard report that one in three Brits have spent more than normal so far this summer.

“This could result in a slowdown as customers align the potential overspend so far this summer in the later months of the year, supported by four in 10 saying they will hold off purchasing big ticket items.”

IMRG insight director Andy Mulcahy added: “Sales growth for UK online retail has been consistently strong so far in 2018 – in spite of the fact that there are signs of a slowdown underway.

“The smartphone has been the main device accounting for that high growth, yet despite sales being up 34 per cent through these devices in June, it was actually the lowest growth rate for smartphones since October 2014.

“The reason that this lower rate is not causing a wider slowdown in the overall index is likely due to the fact that smartphones now account for over one-third of total online retail sales.

“For many people, they are either already, or well on their way to becoming, the device of choice for browsing and shopping in most contexts.”

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