Retailers that sell across a range of sales channels were the winners as online sales grew by 18% in June, suggest new figures from the IMRG [IRDX VIMR], the trade association for online and multichannel retailers.
For while shoppers spent £9.3bn online during the month, 18% more than at the same time last year, found the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index for June, multichannel retailers saw their online sales grow by 21% while online-only retailers saw revenues grow by 13%. Those who optimise for mobile devices also benefited as m-commerce sales grew by 57%. Sales on smartphones grew at a rate that was more than double the growth for tablet computers.
Steve Hewett, head of retail customer engagement and loyalty at Capgemini Consulting [IRDX VCPG], said links between the store and digital had boosted multichannel retailers as consumer confidence rose.
“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,” he said. “Capturing their customers’ 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 results also mark the strongest June month-on-month (MoM) growth since June 2003, reflecting the ongoing increase in UK consumer confidence. Sales grew by 2.7% in June, compared to May. The total first-half growth reached 11%, with sales in the second quarter, between April and June, up by 14%. That’s double the 7% growth seen during January and March.
Sales were strong in fashion and travel, among other sectors. Sales of clothing in June reached a year-on-year increase of 18% – the category’s highest rate since November 2014. The travel sector was up 25% – its highest growth this year, and its third highest annual growth since the Index began recording travel in December 2009.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “During the first quarter of this year we were speculating as to whether online retail was entering a new phase of lower growth rates – with Q1 up just 7% on the same period in 2014. However, in Q2 sales growth has jumped up to 14% on that recorded in Q2 2014 – which is all the more interesting as this period included a highly uncertain general election. June brought the strongest performance of the year so far, no doubt buoyed by the consistent summer weather which also saw the highest growth for the clothing sector so far in 2015. It may be that the slowdown we recorded during Q1 was a blip caused by a number of factors and actually consumer confidence has risen sufficiently to keep online sales growth at this higher rate throughout the summer period and moving into peak.”