Online retail sales were up 10% year-on-year in May and 2% on April despite and unpredictable month that featured the general election and unsettled weather patterns, according the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index
IMRG said the potential growth of sales was likely to have been tempered by unseasonably cooler weather in May. Clothing saw a year-on-year growth of just 9% – a 1% increase on April, and a stark contrast to the 20% year-on-year rise recorded in May 2014 when the country experienced a warmer than average month and consumers stocked up their summer wardrobes.
However, sales of accessories performed well in May, reporting an annual growth of 66%, up 19% on April.
The m-commerce sector also fared well, with transactions made via smartphones and tablets up 48% increase on May 2014.
Revealingly, sales made on a smartphone significantly outweighed tablets, reporting a 107% annual growth compared to 32% for tablets.
However, there is a disparity between the amounts spent online via the respective devices. Whilst the average basket value of a smartphone transaction is £73, a purchase on a tablet is £83.
IMRG chief information officer Tina Spooner said “After the below-expectation performance in Q1 – when sales growth for the quarter was up just 7% – it’s encouraging to see online sales growth holding up during a fairly unpredictable month.”
Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail, Capgemini: “Despite the generally solid level of consumer confidence, the online retail sector has seen quite a turbulent few months this year. However, this month’s Index result on the back of a strong performance in April indicates that we’re on the right track.
“The weather is improving which invariably has a positive impact on shopper’s spending and of course we’re heading into the holiday season which will encourage consumers to update their summer wardrobes.”