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August online retail growth strongest of 2017 so far

  • Online retail sales up +16.4% in August
  • Highest ABV for the month of August in five years
  • Home continues as the strongest-performing sector to date in 2017

UK online retail sales were up +16.4% year-on-year (YoY) in August, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index. This makes August the best month for online retail growth so far in 2017.

The Home sector had a particularly strong August, with 20.5% year-on-year growth and an average basket value (ABV) of £130. Clothing also showed good growth at 17.9%, the best performance for this sector in 2017, and with an ABV up £9 on August 2016. These sectors both contributed to the highest overall ABV for the month of August in five years. All this comes despite August inflation of 2.9%[1], and the reported 2.4% rise in the price of clothing, which has evidently not served to deter fashion shoppers yet.

On the other hand, the August results painted a very different picture for Electricals, which suffered its fifth consecutive month of negative growth – the longest sustained period of negative growth for this sector since we started tracking it in 2003.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement design, Capgemini: “With the first half of the year marred by consumer uncertainty around Brexit and the general election, retailers must be hugely encouraged by the August results. After a strong July where those in the industry were forced to up their game to compete with Amazon Prime Day, could we be seeing a continuation of their discount strategies paying off? Or is it the Brits’ reawakened love of a staycation that is the real driving factor – something that the stand-out successes of the Home and Clothing sectors would certainly indicate.

“As we move into the winter months, it is vital that retailers maintain their efforts to keep the results on an upwards trend. Despite this month’s success, and even at their 2017 peak, the figures were down by 4% on August of the previous year – there is still a way to go if retailers want to round out the year successfully.”

Outside of the sector-specific growth, multichannel retailers saw 17% growth, following three months of single-digit only growth (the first time that had happened since February 2015).

Justin Opie, managing director, IMRG comments: “Online sales growth for multichannel retailers has been on a general downward trend in recent months and, while it’s too early to say whether this spike indicates the start of a reversal to this trend, there are other data-points that may help us understand what is happening. During Q2 of this year*, click and collect penetration exceeded 30% of online orders for multichannel retailers. The IMRG Blujay Home Delivery review 2017 further indicated that the ability to combine click and collect with other shopping activity was the second most popular reason for choosing it. It’s possible that this points toward a shift in how people are shopping in a more focused way across online and offline, perhaps spending less time actually browsing high street shops – a drop in high street footfall was reported in August, while like-for-like high street retail was up – but looking to take advantage of retailers’ store portfolios where convenient for them.”

 

-ENDS-

* Covering the period May-July under our index classification

About the ‘IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks 'online sales', which we define as 'transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels' from any location, including in-store. 

About IMRG

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry.

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs.

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

www.imrg.org 

About Capgemini

With more than 190,000 people, Capgemini is present in over 40 countries and celebrates its 50th Anniversary year in 2017. A global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services, the Group reported 2016 global revenues of EUR 12.5 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

Learn more about us at www.capgemini.com.

Rightshore® is a trademark belonging to Capgemini