August marks strongest online retail growth in 2017

UK online retail sales were up more than 16 per cent year-on-year in August, making it the best month for online retail growth so far in 2017, according to the latest IMRG-Capgemini figures.

The home sector had a particularly strong August, with 20 per cent year-on-year growth and an average basket value (ABV) of £130. Clothing also showed good growth at 18 per cent, 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.

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 IMRG and Capgemini started tracking it in 2003.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement design at Capgemini, said: “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.

“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 four per cent on August of the previous year – there is still a way to go if retailers want to round out the year successfully.”

Justin Opie, managing director of IMRG, added: “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.”

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