Online sales continue to boom despite return to stores

Even as high streets came out of hibernation last month, June’s online retail sales spiked to a new 12 year high of 33.9 per cent year-on-year.

The latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers, showed that this acceleration in online sales was underpinned by the continued success of almost every category.

Leading the way, electrical sales saw the largest increase – up a staggering 99.7 per cent year-on-year. Wine and spirit sales swelled to 79.9 per cent year-on-year, while health and beauty sales were also up 72.8 per cent year-on-year.

Demand in clothing failed to return as lockdown eased though, with sales falling by 6.5 per cent year-on-year. This decline was underscored by poor performances in footwear, womenswear and menswear – down 18.4 per cent, 15.1 per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively.

Sales in June were overwhelmingly driven by multichannel sellers. Continuing the trend from March, multichannel retailers recorded far higher growth for the fifth consecutive month over their online only counterparts, with sales up 51.7 per cent versus 10 per cent.

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant for retail insight at Capgemini, explained: “The persistent increase in e-commerce will likely translate into new habits that will continue as we transition out of lockdown, however this is expected to be at lower levels than we have seen during the lockdown period.

"As the weeks continue, we will see if we have reached the turning point in online sales growth and which behaviours are here to stay as spending starts to revert to a ‘new normal’.”

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