Online sales in May see worst growth on record

By Sasha Fedorenko June 24, 2019 - 12:21 pm

Online sales in May suffered the worst growth on record, with a 1.9% year-on-year (YoY) growth, says the latest MRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index. When compared to the same time last year, which saw the strongest May growth for online retail since 2010, the state of online retail remains rather tough.

May sees the lowest sales growth in nearly 20 years

The report attributes the fall in figures to the disappointing weather and no Royal Weddings in the social calendar. Conversely, May 2018 saw the early summer heatwave, Royal Wedding and a World Cup looming. Consumers seemed happy to spend out pretty lavishly on retail. That is, a slight online sale growth in May is the lowest since the Index started tracking it nearly 20 years ago.

Further sector analysis in May shows a number of categories struggling significantly. Electricals (-27.5%) and gifts (-18.5%) continue the downward trend we have seen since last November and September, respectively.

Clothing has had a much slower growth rate in comparison to last year’s performance (+8.2%). Menswear was down -13.3% against solid results last year (+23%) and womenswear (-4.8%) continued the trend of single digit or negative growth this year. Accessories, which has seen successful growth in previous months, has now reported its worst performance in 10 years. That’s down -20.0% on the YoY basis. Footwear was the only clothing sector to see positive growth (+6.7%).

Health and beauty sector is striving despite the overall slowdown

However, the health & beauty sector continued its a strong monthly performance with +22.6% compared to +2% total, compared last year, with the explosion of consumers focusing their attention on health and wellbeing as well as the rise in celebrity beauty endorsements.

Despite last month’s dramatic drop, mobile ecommerce is up in May by +8.4% with smartphones reaching +35.0% and tablets flat at +0.3% against the previous year.

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