Bumper month of events drives strongest online retail growth since 2010

Online retail figures for May have made their largest jump in eight years as a result of a raft of events, new data has revealed.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, UK online retail sales up 19.4% year-on-year in May.

The market research specialist reported that the scorching temperatures, a Royal Wedding, the FA Cup Final, and two bank holidays, were key factors in securing the the highest YoY increase for May since 2010 and the strongest month overall since November 2016.
Additionally, a market conversion rate of 4.8% (compared to 4.6% last year) marked the first YoY increase for 2018, reversing a recent trend of decline.

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Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini shares: “May is typically a strong month for retail and that was borne out in the results on both sides of the coin. UK sunshine over-indexed in May – coming in 18% higher than the last two years – and temperatures have also resumed after the much colder start to 2018.

“This has clearly created big wins in the seasonal categories such as Garden and Footwear but there is also a certain degree of optimism felt throughout the sectors driven by the Royal Wedding and the FIFA World Cup.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, adds: “Growth for the online retail market has been exceptionally strong so far in 2018, with May’s result being the highest for that month in eight years.

“Things have been tough on the high street recently, though better performance was reported in May – this may have been a blip prompted by the mood of national celebration last month and it’s telling that when physical retail does well, online does even better – recording its highest growth in 18 months in May. It’s becoming increasingly clear that shoppers are favouring online channels over physical ones to a greater degree than they used to, which is accelerating the pace of change for multichannel retailers.”

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