After encouraging signs in July of a possible bounce back to positive growth, online retail sales failed to make up much ground in August – slowing their fall only slightly to -9.3% Year-on-Year (YoY). That is according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers. A glance at the Week-on-Week (WoW) figures, however, still indicates that things are heading in the right direction – with the first week of August down -7.7% versus just -2.9% for the final week.
At a category level, while most continue to report negative YoY growth against 2020’s figures, the drops are becoming less dramatic than have appeared previously. Health & beauty remains the poorest performer – down -32.8% versus last month’s -36.1%. Bucking the trend, beers, wines & spirits (+26.8%) and garden (+40.1%) continued to do well throughout August, with clothing also managing to remain in the positive at +10.3%.
Other notable spending trends in August include the Average Basket Volume (ABV) reaching its highest average for 2021 at £149. This was mainly driven by sales in home & garden and electricals, perhaps due to customers switching their cancelled holiday spend for big-ticket items. Worryingly however, conversion sunk to its lowest rate this year at 3.14%.
Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG