Spend diverted from online as sales growth plummets in June

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With a reopened high street, further easing of lockdown and a comparative 12-year e-commerce high in 2020, online retail sales continued to fall to record-breaking lows in June, down 14.1% year-on-year, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

The month-on-month dip from May of 4.6% was larger than typical for this time of year in pre-pandemic times, and following similar month-on-month declines in April and May, this made June’s year-on-year result the biggest drop in the history of the Index.

At a category level, the picture was similarly dour as retailers continue to struggle against high 2020 comparisons.

Chris Long, director of retail consulting at Capgemini, said: “The steep fall in June of -14.1% is a strong indication that consumer confidence is growing to get back out on the high-street as lockdown eases and the vaccine rollout continues.

“We can expect this shift in spend between online and the high-street to continue, with retailers grappling demand swings and stock challenges across channels to ensure availability for consumers as their shopping habits change.

“Looking ahead it’s going to be interesting to see how ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19 impacts online spend, although most restrictions will be eased for the high-street there is a potential for an increase in self-isolation numbers from Track & Trace, which could slow the decline in online demand as many rely on home delivery.”

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