Online Sales Rising Faster Than Total Sales

BBQ pic on a phone
Barbecues were a big seller online in July in the UK as the country finally saw some prolonged sunshine

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.2 per cent in July versus a year earlier, according to the latest figures from the British Retail ConsortiumKPMG Online Retail Sales Monitor.  This is lower than the above trend growth of 14.7 per cent seen in July 2015 but up from last month (9.0 per cent) and in line with the 12-month average of 11.1 per cent. Online sales continue to outperform total sales.

Over the three months to July, online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.1 per cent year-on-year. Over the same period, store sales fell, posting growth of -1 per cent on a total basis and -1.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis. The pace of decline in store sales has slowed this month, but growth remains firmly in negative territory.

In July 2016, online sales represented 20.4 per cent of total non-food sales in the UK, against 19.4 per cent in July 2015. While the non-food online penetration rate has remained above 20 per cent for seven consecutive months, this is below the record 22.4 per cent penetration seen in November last year.

“E-tills were ringing this July, with overall non-food online sales up 11.2 per cent in the month,” said David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG. “Women’s fashion and accessories performed positively compared to the slump in June as the July heatwave coupled with seasonal sales spurred summery purchases.

“Elsewhere, families took advantage of timely e-promotions boosting sales of outdoor toys so that the kids could make the most of the July heatwave. Sales of household appliances and furniture also surged as consumers purchased outdoor tables, chairs and barbecues to maximize the alfresco dining experience.

“Despite this, penetration rates dipped slightly by 0.2 percentage points as more shoppers hit the high-street in the warmer weather. While online remains a key shopping avenue, retailers need to continue to ensure consistency of experience across all channels in order to maintain the attraction of both the virtual and physical aisles to their consumers.”