“Highest online growth ever” for multichannel retailers despite physical stores reopening

Multichannel retailers “recorded the highest online growth ever” during the week when physical retailers reopened their doors for the first time in 82 days.

Stores with both a physical and online presence saw sales skyrocket 71 per cent year-on-year in the week commencing June 14, when the government allowed non-essential retail stores to reopen.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, UK online sales a whole also jumped a whopping 41.3 per cent year-on-year, marking the second strongest growth since lockdown began.

This represented a 1.8 per cent increase on the previous week’s online sales, suggesting that the re-opening of physical stores had not negatively affected online sales growth at all.

READ MORE: UK online sales plummet as shoppers prepare for re-opening of physical stores

“Multichannel retailers saw online sales go from strength to strength despite a hypothesis that the ability to spend in re-opened stores would decrease the reliance on online shopping,” Capgemini’s Lucy Gibbs said.

“As lockdown eases in an attempt to shift back towards the former pre-COVID-19 norm, the question remains which consumer behaviours and trends will return, and which will have changed for the long term? Have consumers shopping habits irreversibly swung towards Online shopping rather than Instore shopping?”

IMRG’s strategy and insight director Andy Mucahy added: “It seems that all the fanfare around high streets opening again did spur an increase in sales activity, as people perhaps start to feel things are returning to something a bit closer to ‘normal’, but what that normal is going to be received some clarity.

“The bulk of that activity remains focused online, with shoppers visiting stores in much lower numbers but with a clearly focused intention to complete a purchase, as opposed to just browsing.”

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1 Comment. Leave new

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    Nelson Blackley
    June 30, 2020 12:35 pm

    Really interesting numbers – and an early indicator of how ‘sticky’ the move to online during lockdown is likely to be. Until and unless the various COVID-related restrictions in physical stores can be removed there is absolutely no transactional or experiencial benefits to shoppers going into stores versus buying online (apart from customers of those few retailers eg Primark that have no online provision)


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