Online sales hold up in May but sectors are a mixed bag
New figures have shown that online sales increased by 10% year-on-year in May and by 2% on April although growth in some categories was tempered by unsettled weather.
The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index recorded double-digit growth for the second month running in May following the Index's first three month period of single-digit growth in the first quarter of 2015.
The clothing category saw year-on-year growth of just 9% in May and a 1% increase on April, which contrasts with the 20% year-on-year growth recorded in May 2014 when the weather was warmer than average in the month. However, sales of accessories performed well, reporting annual growth of 66%, up 19% on April.
The home and garden sectors also reflected the impact of the disappointing weather in May with the garden category reporting a year-on-year decline of 27%. Meanwhile, sales growth in the home sector grew by 29%.
The Index also revealed that the online sale of electrical goods continued its disappointing 2015 performance in May. Reporting year-on-year growth of just 3%, the electricals category has been the Index’s weakest performing sector this year.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, 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 that featured the general election and unsettled weather patterns.
“It was a really mixed bag for the sectors in May – it may be that electricals is struggling due to the lack of any new must-have technology and garden was clearly impacted by the weather – but as we saw in home and travel there are still some strong areas of growth driving the Index.”
Sales via a smartphone or tablet device recorded a 48% increase on May 2014. Sales made on a smartphone significantly outweighed tablets with 107% annual growth compared to 32% for tablets. However, tablets achieved a higher average basket value of £83 compared to £73 for smartphone transactions.
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