UK online retail sales to settle at 25% after 4 consecutive months of decline

Online retail sales are set to account for more than half of all retail sales globally this year, despite four consecutive months of decline.

Fresh data from Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s Future Shopper Report 2021 has predicted that 51 per cent of total global retail sales will take place online this year, with 42 per cent of all post-pandemic online spending taking place on marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy.

In the UK, more than 25 per cent of total ecommerce spend will take place on Amazon alone, according to the research.

However, separate data from ParcelHero points to the ongoing decline of ecommerce sales in the UK after hitting unprecedented peaks during lockdown.

In July, pureplay online retailers endured their first ever drop in sales, while June saw online retail sales fell at their sharpest rate on record.

It follows four consecutive months of decline for online retail sales in the UK, which ParcelHero’s David Jinks believes will settle at 25 per cent of total retail spend, dropping from heights of 36.1 per cent seen in February.

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

This means that moving forward, UK ecommerce sales will be worth around £12.8 billion annually marking a significant boost compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“Our figure of 25 per cent is a significant fall from the 36.1 per cent of all retail sales that online grabbed last February at the height of lockdown,” Jinks explained.

“However, it’s still a huge increase on the 19 per cent share online used to take, before the pandemic permanently shook up retail.

“For some months now, retailers have been trying to guess what the new normal will look like. We believe the picture has now become a lot clearer.

ParcelHero predicts that high streets will enjoy a spending spree throughout August, but the return of colder weather in the coming autumn months will drive fresh coronavirus and flu concerns driving shoppers back in doors.

“Everything points towards long-term equilibrium, with online spending maintaining a 25 per cent hold on the UK’s overall £51.4 billion retail spend.”

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • As always, this “% of retail” data tells nothing like the whole story.

    Split out food, which is a special case (and fuel), from the rest, and you get a figure that is more meaningful and representative of actual consumer behaviour, because food takes a large chunk of actual retail spend, but has a relatively very low % of sales online.


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