Online Retail Growth in Freefall During May

Online retail sales growth fell -8.7% Year-on-Year (YoY) in May 2022, despite being measured against a negative performance in May 2021 (-6%), as trading conditions continue to be very tough. Bucking the trend for positive growth between the two months, May’s results also represented a -0.6% dip Month-on-Month (MoM) against April.

That’s according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks online sales for 200 retailers.

Breaking the month down, there was some variation in performance by week, with week one recording the lowest growth at -10.9% YoY, whilst week three was almost positive at -0.3% YoY. This may have been a Jubilee boost – with people purchasing patriotic clothing and other items in advance of the bank holiday celebration – without that, performance might have been even worse.

>>> UK online retail sales reported a -8.7% Year-on-Year (YoY) decrease in May 2022
>>> Month-on-Month (MoM), the industry’s performance decreased -0.6% against April
>>> Growth continues to stay low against the 3- (-15.2%), 6- (-16%) and 12-month (-12.9%) averages
>>> Average Basket Value (ABV) reached a new record high of £151, up £6 on April’s previous peak

Despite widespread discounting, the Average Basket Value (ABV) has actually been rising notably since January 2022, reaching a new all-time high of £151. This is likely due to a number of factors including inflation, customers ordering multiple items at once in order to avoid repeat delivery fees, and a general preference for higher quality items to avoid having to buy again in the near future.

Website traffic was also up 8% YoY, though retailers are reporting lengthy purchase cycles as consumers sit in the consideration stage for longer.

At a category level, the majority tracked in the Index reported negative growth, again often against negative figures for the same period last year. Among those, the categories seeing the worst performance were health and beauty (-28%) and home and garden (-23%).

On a better note, clothing continues to see strong performance – with sales rising by +14% overall; +18% for womenswear and +12% for menswear.

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