Posted on July 18, 2018 by staff

Online shopping hits fever pitch following World Cup


The football wasn’t the only thing that reached fever pitch this summer as the hot weather and start of the FIFA World Cup spurred a spike in UK online retail sales.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, sales in June experienced 16.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth.

Both multi-channel and online-only retailers performed well (+14.8 per cent and +18.7 per cent respectively), demonstrating a general taste for spending last month.

Unsurprisingly, the largest sector increase was seen in Garden, with a +49.9 per cent YoY growth as the nation prepared for World Cup barbeques and basked in the hot weather.

This was followed by Clothing, with the sunny weather inspiring a YoY growth of +19.3 per cent, including a +23.9 per cent growth for accessories and +22.7 per cent growth for footwear.

Health & Beauty and Gifts sales were slightly more subdued, with +9.9 per cent and +10.5 per cent YoY growth respectively.

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

“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.

“Electrical and Home sectors have the lowest June YoY growth in the last five years, a reminder of caution during political uncertainty and upcoming interest rate increases.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG agreed that 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,” he said.

“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.”