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Online sales growth in sharp slowdown

Published:  29 July, 2019

Online retail sales grew by 5.4% for the first half of 2019, down from 16.9% growth for the comparable period in 2018, according to data from the latest IMRG CapGemini eRetail Sales Index.

It is the lowest half-yearly growth rate the index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers with a combined annual spend of £28bn, has recorded since it was launched in April 2000.

In terms of online sales, online-only retailers are outperforming their multi-channel competitors, with growth of 7.4% compared to 5.2%.

Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini, said: “If this year continues to mirror performance of last year, we can hope for a stronger second half. However, with Brexit happening just before peak period and still uncertainty around what it will bring, we cannot know whether the index will recover or growth under 10% will be the new norm, at least for this year. Caution and volatility within the market remain for the foreseeable.”

Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG, said: “In this country we have a tendency to regard online retail and physical retail as being completely separate; an idea that has been feed over the past few years by the consistent growth in online even as the high street struggled. What we are now seeing is that they are not separate at all, but in fact deeply interconnected – hence growth in the first half of 2019 was the lowest yet recorded.”