Online retail sales growth slowed to 9.5% in June, which is the second slowest monthly rate of growth since 2001.
According to the IMRG/Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index the rate of online retail sales growth has only fallen beneath 10% on one other occasion, in October 2015 when it hit 9.3%.
A number of factors are believed to be behind the slowdown including the warmer weather, which encouraged shoppers to the high street, the general election and online shoppers holding out for Amazon Prime Day, which took place this month.
“Online retailers are facing something of a perfect storm at the moment, having to operate against the backdrop of a continuing wave of political uncertainty, rising inflation, a changing retail calendar (due to impact of major sales days such as Prime Day) and heatwaves,” said IMRG managing director Julian Opie.
“The low growth online during election week (+3.4%) strongly suggests that the election did exert some influence over shopping behaviour as did, arguably, the weather – albeit in a much more ‘omnichannel’ sense. Sales growth for online-only retailers was down almost 200% year-on-year, while for multichannel retailers growth held at the same rate as last year – quite possibly buoyed by the appeal of click and collect orders to provide a bit of certainty for their trips to the high street,” Opie added.
Capgemini principal consultant in retail customer engagement Bhavesh Unadkat said the month had witnessed some significant sector movements in both directions. “Summer sun and celebrations drove beers, wines and spirits to its highest June year-on-year (YOY) growth since 2014. On the other side of the coin, accessories saw its first ever YOY decline since we began tracking it in 2008 – to give you some perspective, its average YOY growth is 48%. This is potentially caused by a fall in consumer confidence given current political and economic challenges, driving down spending on luxuries,” he said.
“Other worthy mentions include electricals, which has had the first June decline since 2003, likely to be caused by the ‘Amazon Prime effect’. In short, a month of ups-and-downs leading to an overall pretty weak June,” Unadkat added.