Online retail sales hit a six-year low

By James Buttery

While e-tailers have experienced healthy sales growth in the first half of the year, the decline between May and June proved the steepest fall-off in the last six years.

H1 2014 displayed year-on-year growth of 16% according to figures from IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, but the 5% month-on-month decline between May and June was the most pronounced since 2008.

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The disappointing figures for June represent the lowest year-on-year growth since July last year and have been blamed on a dip in consumer confidence and England’s disastrous performance in the World Cup. Big ticket and luxury items were the worst affected.

Chris Webster, vice president, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, said: “Online sales during H1 have been generally consistent with our earlier growth forecast of 17%, but at 14%, the lowest quarterly growth in two years, Q2 has been heavily skewed by June’s poor performance.

“The figures reveal just how influential a turbulent economy can have on our shopping behaviour. The current uncertainty around interests has resulted in a dip in consumer confidence, and as a result, we’re still happy to buy the everyday items, but we’d prefer to hold off on those expensive treats.”

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