The UK’s e-retail market returned to double-digit growth in August, with online sales up 18 percent year-on-year; double the growth rate in July.
Figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index reveal that this was led by a return to double-digit growth for multichannel retailers (+17 percent) following a poor July when the heatwave drove customers out to their physical stores. Sales for online-only retailers grew 19 percent.
Chris Webster, VP, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini, says consumer confidence is returning as the economy is showing signs of improvement: “Increased basket values and strong growth in apparel suggest retailers are increasing their full-price sales, taking advantage of the increase in confidence and seeing a healthy return. After a slow July, August has seen a return to the levels of growth we have come to expect from online retail and has, in fact, exceeded our year-on-year growth predictions by three percent.”
There are further signs of a recovery in consumer confidence, as sectors selling high-price products recorded strong growth. The home and garden sector led the way in August with 25 percent year-on-year growth, followed by electricals at 18 percent. Clothing meanwhile grew 18 percent year-on-year compared to 10 percent in July, with the average basket value increasing by £5 year-on-year as the heavy discounting used by retailers earlier in the year has been scaled back.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, adds it is evident that consumers were investing in their homes and gardens during August: “Year-to-date, the IMRG Capgemini Index has recorded 15 percent growth compared with the same period in 2012 and, as retailers gear up for the lucrative festive trading period, we anticipate that the UK online retail sector will maintain double-digit growth during the fourth quarter, unseasonal heatwaves permitting.”