E-tailers experience 'oribble October as Black Friday looms
October saw UK online retail sales experience their lowest September growth (+7.5% YoY) since 2014, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
The space has faltered since England’s World Cup Exit in July and the close of the hot summer. For the third-quarter overall, online retail sales growth was up 10.1%; by comparison, in the second-quarter it was 17.1%.
Meanwhile, the index for sales via smartphones continued to grow during September – increasing 16.1% on last year, although it has slowed considerably against the 55.8% recorded last year, with the market reaching a greater level of maturity. Sales via tablets continued to plummet, hitting -22.5% YoY compared to +8.1% last year.
“The strong second quarter, stimulated by events such as the Royal Wedding, World Cup and heatwave, may have left people with less disposable income in quarter three. However, beyond that, shopper confidence appears to have fallen at a time when numerous retailers are putting out profit warnings and announcing store closures,” says Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG.
“Meanwhile, several retailers have spoken publicly about the scale of discounting that has been active across various retail sites, meaning that the industry is already heavily involved in discounting before we even get near to Black Friday. The conversion rate was markedly down in September; could it possibly be that people are already browsing for ideas, in the knowledge that Black Friday will inevitably bring heavier discounts?”