UK online retail sales were up 19.4% year-on-year amid high temperatures, the royal wedding and the FA Cup Final, according to new data.
The latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index showed two bank holidays during the same period also contributed to the highest YoY increase for May since 2010 and the strongest month overall since November 2016.
Additionally, a market conversion rate of 4.8% (compared to 4.6% last year) marked the first YoY increase for 2018, reversing a recent trend of decline. Footwear and garden both stood out recording YoY growth of 54.4% and 40.2% respectively.
During the record temperatures of the first bank holiday week, the garden sector’s growth reached 74%. Meanwhile, health and beauty increased by 23.0%.
Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement, Capgemini said: “May is typically a strong month for retail and that was borne out in the results on both sides of the coin. UK sunshine over-indexed in May – coming in 18% higher than the last two years – and temperatures have also resumed after the much colder start to 2018.”
Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG, added: “There is nothing new in online taking a greater share of sales of course, the question is what happens to physical retail. Traditional shops won’t vanish entirely – there will always be some level of demand for them – but how high streets and other retail spaces evolve more generally in response to lower shopper interest is a matter for some debate.”