Online retail sales has seen its lowest ever growth during the month of October, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index.
E-commerce sales grew by 6.2% and managed to beat the three-month, six-month, and 12-month rolling averages – respectively +5.0%, +4.5%, +5.1%. However, the results are still behind the five-year average of +10%.
IMRG and Capgemini said October’s slightly more positive overall performance was mirrored in a number of categories, including clothing (+5.2%), beer, wine and spirits (+4.8%) and home (+13.6%).
Clothing sales, in particular, sprang back from its first negative growth in over two years in September, to record the modest rise.
Additionally, online only retailers performed “particularly well” during the period, with sales growth three times that of multichannel retailers (+12.4% vs. +4.3%)
Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG, said online retail sales performance in October “showed signs of improvement,” compared with “how it has been doing in recent months”.
He noted, however, that there are several signs in the data that the growth was in response to “heavy discounting”, and added: “The overall average basket value was down -21%, for clothing it was down -13%, while for electricals it was also down -21% and the revenue growth for that category was still negative.
“The question now is whether this stronger growth is indicative of an improvement in shopper demand, or whether November sales will struggle as a result of volume being pulled forward.”