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Online sales see steepest May to June drop since 2008

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While the annual growth does come off the back of a particularly strong June 2013, and the overall performance in H1 has been positive (16 per cent), the results reveal the impact the current dip in consumer confidence has had on e-retail sales.

In terms of specific sectors, British shoppers avoided expensive luxury items. The travel sector saw a year-on-year (YoY) increase of just three per cent, its lowest annual growth since July 2013, and electricals just seven per cent; no doubt further hampered by England’s early departure from the World Cup. 

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “Football fans clearly stocked up their fridges in anticipation for the World Cup, as the beers, wines and spirits sector surged 20 per cent YoY last month, and the 17 per cent growth we saw from May to June was the steepest jump between those months we have ever seen in this sector. But during the week England were knocked out we saw a distinct 15 per cent drop in alcohol sales as fans were denied the chance to raise a glass to a repeat of 1966.”

“It’s fair to say June was not a good month for British sport and the poor performance in the electricals sector – with growth of just seven per cent YoY – suggests Britons were not too interested in buying new technology to watch the action, whilst higher than average temperatures and lots of sunshine kept customers outdoors.”

However conversion rates rose to 4.8 per cent last month, the highest rate for June since 2008, while the average basket value recorded £83 (excluding travel), up five per cent from June last year.

Chris Webster, VP, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini, said: “Online sales during H1 have been generally consistent with our earlier growth forecast, but Q2 has been heavily skewed by June’s poor performance. 

“The figures reveal just how influential a turbulent economy can have on our shopping behaviour. The current uncertainty around interest rates has resulted in a dip in consumer confidence, and as a result, we’re still happy to buy the everyday items, but we’d prefer to hold off on those expensive treats.”

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