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Online sales grew by 11.4% in June: ONS

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British ecommerce sales grew by 11.4% in June, compared to the same time last year, as shoppers spent an average £815.4m a week over the internet, according to official figures out today.

Some 12.4% of all UK retail sales were made online during the month, estimates today’s Retail Sales report for June 2015 from the Office for National Statistics. The value of sales was also up by 1.4% compared to May 2015.

The ONS figures also showed an estimated £35.6bn was spent across UK retail in June. That was up by 0.9%, compared with last June, but down by 0.1% compared to the previous month, May 2015, as store prices fell for the 12th consecutive month and by an average 2.9% of compared to the same time last year. On average, shoppers spent £7.1bn a week in shops, online and by mail and telephone ordering. But the quantity bought rose for the 27th month in a row, up by 4% compared to June 2014.

The fastest online growth came in household goods stores, where online sales grew by 22% and made up 6.8% of total retail sales in the category. Other strong performances came in food, where internet sales grew by 13.3% and now account for 4.2% of all food retail sales, and in department stores (13.3% up, 10.8% of all sales. Textile, clothing and footwear stores saw ecommerce sales lift by 5.8%, reaching 9.1% of all retail sales. But the ‘other’ stores category saw online sales fall by 14.7% to make up 6.4% of all sales.

Commenting on the figures, Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: “It’s been another decent month for retailers, with the second half of the month in particular benefitting from a boost in sales of seasonal items in part due to the sunny weather. Despite a slight dip compared to last month, the long-term outlook remains positive. Looking forward, retailers will be confident that they will be able to capitalise on growing consumer demand driven by the continued strengthening of the wider economy.”

Keith Richardson, managing director retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Shoppers do not like uncertainty, and retailers will now be hoping that their horizons become clearer in the weeks and months ahead, and that that will be enough to encourage consumers to loosen their purse strings.

“While falling food and fuel prices might have put more money in people’s pockets, the focus on price across a number of sectors mean that shoppers are still wedded to discounts and promotions.

“Unless the recent heatwave has already persuaded people to spruce up their summer wardrobes, more promotions may be needed if retailers are to avoid being left with unsold stock at the end of the season.”

Dan Wagner, founder and chief executive of Powa Technologies, comments: “While today’s sales results appear to be encouraging, retailers must not get complacent.

“The figures were clearly boosted by the good weather and an early start to the summer sales. However, to avoid disappointing sales figures like we have seen in the past year, retailers must continue to innovate and adapt to changing consumer demands. Shoppers today want to be able to buy products from their digital devices in a matter of seconds, no matter where they are in the world.

“If businesses want to see continuous growth they must develop an omni-channel approach, where the online and offline worlds are seamlessly integrated and shoppers can purchase products quickly and efficiently. If they fail to adopt this approach then today’s encouraging results will just be a one-off rather than a continuous trend of growth.”

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