Online BWS sales continued to soar throughout June

Online retail sales continued to soar through June, despite the re-opening of the high street.

The latest Online Retail Index data by IMRG Capgemini, showed online retail sales soared by 33.9% year-on-year in June, surpassing the previous month’s growth to become the highest annual result since March 2008.

With pubs still closed, beer, wine and spirits sales swelled to a rise of 79.9% compared to the same period last year, which represents an increase of 78.8% year-to-date.

Sales [in all sectors of online retail] in June were overwhelmingly driven by multichannel sellers, continuing the trend from March. Multichannel retailers recorded far higher growth for the fifth consecutive month over their online-only counterparts, with sales up 51.7% versus 10%.

Lucy Gibbs, managing consultant - Retail Insight, Capgemini, said: “Online sales have continued to go from strength to strength in June, albeit at a slower rate than last month.

“Clothing is the only sector to have remained in negative year-on-year results online, with footwear down -18%, womenswear down -15%, perhaps surprising as we might expect to see a resurgence in fashion due to pent up demand as restrictions ease.

“The persistent increase in ecommerce will likely translate into new habits that will continue as we transition out of lockdown, however this is expected to be at lower levels than we have seen during the lockdown period. As the weeks continue, we will see if we have reached the turning point in online sales growth and which behaviours are here to stay as spending starts to revert to a ‘new normal’.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director at IMRG, said: “In June, growth for online retail sales was once again at a rate we’ve not seen since 2008, even with the shops open for half of it.

“So, initially at least, online has proven resilient to the reopening of the other main outlet for retail; the high street. However, as of July 4, people have more options for how to spend their money, as pubs, restaurants and other leisure spaces have opened.

“So how long will the online boom last? For some categories (such as grocery and beers, wine and spirits) it seems reasonable to assume that some of the regular demand will have shifted online for good, while for other categories the huge surges they have seen might reach natural limits and slow down.”

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