Online-only retailers saw first sales drop since start of pandemic in July

Online retail sales have continued to plummet for the third month in a row as spending continues to be “redistributed” and post-pandemic spending patterns begin to emerge.

UK ecommerce sales fell 9.6 per cent in July compared to a year earlier, following two consecutive record declines in June and May.

While the rate of decline fell significantly from June’s 14.1 per cent drop, it still fell well below the six-month and 12-month average growth rates of 13.44 per cent and 29.9 per cent respectively.

According to analysts at IMRG and Capgemini, who released the research, this slowdown could be due to the ‘pingdemic’ crisis driving thousands of shoppers back online.

READ MORE: Online retail sales fall at highest rate in history in June

“Perhaps the ‘pingdemic’ has played a role here, as so many people were forced into isolation, but it’s also tempting to suggest that we might be starting to see what the much-feted ‘new normal’ will actually look like from a retail perspective,” IMRG’s strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy said.

Despite the slowdown, pureplay online retailers saw their sales fall for the first time since the pandemic began, dropping 4.6 per cent throughout the month.

They still outperformed their multichannel counterparts which saw a 12 per cent drop, dragged down by health and beauty sales which fell 36.1 per cent.

“In July 2021, month-on-month (MoM) growth was ahead of where it usually is at this point of the year; with the amount spent online declining -4.4 per cent against June, whereas -8 per cent was typical in 2020 and 2019,” Mulcahy continued.

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