The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index has found that growth in online sales fell to its lowest ever level in May, at 8.2%, a decline of 3.5% on April 2009 and a huge decline on May 2008's growth of 30.9%.
"Although online sales remain healthier than on the high street, UK shoppers are clearly changing their behaviour as a result of the recession — even those heading online to economise are now beginning to trim spending habits," says Mike Petevinos, head of consulting for retail for Capgemini UK
The warmer weather benefited the health & beauty sector, which saw yearly growth of 26.3%, the Index reveals, and the electrical sector also appears to be holding up well during the recession, with year on year growth of 28%.
After a notable growth of sales in alcohol online in April ahead of the budget, however, spending dropped off in May after higher levies were imposed by the Treasury. Online sales for alcohol declined both on a year-on-year and month-on-month basis, by 6.5% and 17.4% respectively.
Clothing, Footwear and Accessories fell by 4.0% compared to April and is up by close to the overall market average on a year ago at 8.2%. Accessories are up 3.0% on April and a huge 69.9% on a year ago. Footwear was up 3.7% over April but only 4.1% on the year. Gifts were up by 4.2% on April but down 0.3% on a year ago whilst Lingerie was up 26.7% on April but down 10.2% on a year ago.