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What’s happening online?

Online sales were in freefall in May but recovered slightly in June. Compared with June 2021, growth dipped just -2.3%.

According to the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks online sales for 200 retailers, the figure represents a slight levelling of sales as typical growth for this time of year is around +2-5%, putting this result at the low end of ‘normal’.

Elsewhere, after rising rapidly since January, the Average Basket Value (ABV) seems to have stabilised for the first time this year – dropping from April’s peak of £150 back to £145. This is still very high historically, suggesting that consumers continue to prioritise quality over quantity with their purchases.

Jeremy Wilson, Director of Commerce at Capgemini, says: “Though the headline numbers indicate some continued impact of Covid-19 as the categories that did well during that time fall back and those that didn’t pick up. A deeper dive into the wider trends does show that the cost-of-living crisis is having a very different effect on consumer behaviours.

“Boiled back, the pandemic mainly drove a channel switch – changing where budget was spent, but not necessarily how much and how often. The conversion drops and basket value increases we’re seeing now appear to show that the cost-of-living crisis is having a far greater impact on consumers’ spending caution and prioritisation of goods. It will be interesting to track these numbers over the coming months, particularly as energy costs soar ever higher.”

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