The latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that UK online retail sales were up 18% year-on-year (YoY) in June, the highest recorded annual growth in 2015 and equating to £9.3 billion spent online.
With a 2.7% increase on May, the results also mark the strongest June month-on-month (MoM) growth since June 2003, reflecting the ongoing increase in UK consumer confidence. The total growth for H1 reached 11%, supported by a much improved second quarter of the year – the Index recorded an annual increase of 14% between April and June, double the growth experienced during January and March (7%).
The Index was boosted by a strong performance recorded in a number of key sectors. Sales of clothing in June reached a YoY increase of 18% – its highest rate since November 2014. The travel sector, which has performed consistently well throughout 2015, was up 25% – its highest growth this year, and its third highest annual growth since the Index began recording travel in December 2009.
The m-commerce sector (sales via a smartphone or tablet device) recorded a 57% increase on June 2014. Split by device, sales on smartphones far outweighed tablets, reporting a growth rate between January and June of over double that on tablet devices.
The Index also revealed the growing disparity between online-only and multichannel retailers (those with both an online and a physical presence). In June, growth for online-only sales reached just 13% YoY, compared to 21% for multichannel retailers.
Steve Hewett, Head of Retail Customer Engagement and Loyalty, Capgemini Consulting: “The significant growth in the market will be very reassuring to UK retailers who have thus far experienced a fairly turbulent 2015. With a relatively settled post-election economy, consumer confidence should remain high and we can look forward to a solid H2.
“I’m particularly interested to see the impact click and collect services have had on the performance of multichannel retailers compared to their online only counterparts. Capturing their customer’s delivery needs has helped build a stronger connection between retailer and consumer, which is ultimately being reflected at the cash register. It will be key for the online community to capitalise on the current consumer confidence and find a way to build the same level of connection.”
Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG: “During the first quarter of this year we were speculating as to whether online retail was entering a new phase of lower growth rates – with Q1 up just 7% on the same period in 2014. However, in Q2 sales growth has jumped up to 14% on that recorded in Q2 2014 – which is all the more interesting as this period included a highly uncertain general election. June brought the strongest performance of the year so far, no doubt buoyed by the consistent summer weather which also saw the highest growth for the clothing sector so far in 2015. It may be that the slowdown we recorded during Q1 was a blip caused by a number of factors and actually consumer confidence has risen sufficiently to keep online sales growth at this higher rate throughout the summer period and moving into peak.”