UK online retail sales rose by 18 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in June, the highest recorded annual growth in 2015, equating to £9.3bn spent online during the month, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
With a 2.7 per cent 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 per cent, supported by a much improved second quarter of the year – the Index recorded an annual increase of 14 per cent between April and June, double the 7 per cent growth experienced during January and March.
Mobile played a big part in the increase. Sales via smartphones and tables recorded a 57 per cent YoY 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 was boosted by a strong performance recorded in a number of key sectors. Sales of clothing in June reached a YoY increase of 18 per cent – its highest rate since November 2014. The travel sector, which has performed consistently well throughout 2015, was up 25 per cent - its highest growth this year, and its third highest annual growth since the Index began recording travel in December 2009.
The Index also revealed the growing disparity between online-only and multichannel retailers, with both an online and a physical presence. In June, growth for online-only sales reached just 13 per cent YoY, compared to 21 per cent for multichannel retailers.
Steve Hewett, head of retail customer engagement and loyalty at Capgemini Consulting, said the significant growth in the market would be very 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,” said Hewett. “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.”
The IMRG Capgemini Index has been reporting since 2000, and tracks online sales, which the Index defines as “transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels” from any location, including in store. Over one hundred eCommerce retailers now regularly contribute data to the Index.