Online sales continue to soar despite referendum uncertainty
The IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index has revealed online sales growth of 17% year-on-year (YoY) in June, as the Index continued to perform strongly in spite of other indicators of falling consumer confidence around the EU Referendum.
The Index recorded a month-on-month (MoM) growth rate of 2%, similar to last year’s growth rate and building on an extremely strong May 2016, when the Index recorded its highest YoY growth rate in 11 months. The average basket value of goods purchased online was also up, from £75.11 in June 2015, to £80.34 a year later – continuing a general trend we have been tracking so far in 2016.
In mobile retail, the growth of sales made on tablets continued to nosedive, with YoY growth at just 0.4%. This is the lowest figure registered since YoY monitoring began in 2013. Conversely, sales on smartphones grew 69% YoY, following extremely strong growth of 117% YoY in June 2015.
In a rain-soaked June, sales of beer, wines and spirits tumbled -7% as consumers possibly held back on summer BBQs. Health and beauty sales also fell by -5% – it’s weakest performance in six years. However online sales across the clothing category performed strongly with lingerie up 41%, accessories up 46% and footwear up 34% – a five-year high. Apparel as a whole was also up 18% YoY.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer, at IMRG, said:
“While the Index results reveal a strong performance during June, it is too early to say whether the Brexit vote will have any long-term impact on the UK’s online retail sector. However, early signs from a recent IMRG poll of retailers found that around two-thirds of online merchants saw a slowdown in sales in the few days after the EU referendum, with most reporting sales appearing to recover to ‘normal’ levels again afterwards.
“Smartphones continue to take an increasing share of mobile commerce with year-on-year growth rates also surging ahead. Conversely, sales completed on tablet devices flat-lined during June, which effectively means that all growth in mobile commerce came via smartphones last month.”
Bhavesh Unadkat, management consultant in retail customer engagement design, Capgemini, said:
“It’s widely agreed that consumer confidence is falling, and this is something that is being heard from retailers across a myriad of sectors. As a result, it’s great to see that, both in the run up to the referendum and in the immediate aftermath, online sales growth remained strong.
“These figures obviously don’t encapsulate the entire Brexit fall out, and the full impact of the referendum is something that we will not be able to wholly analyse for a number of months. In the meantime, retailers need to continue to focus on ensuring they give their customers every reason to shop with them.”