Given crippling closures by House of Fraser and M&S among others, the high street is painting a dark picture of retail. However, e-commerce combated the gloom by thriving in May’s record-breaking sunshine and seasonal events with the month’s greatest year-on-year sales since the decade began.
May was an action-packed month, with a royal wedding, bank holidays and the FA Cup final, it saw online retail score a 19.4% year-on-year increase according to Capgemini, the consulting corporation. Moreover, the figure was enough to bring e-commerce to its best performance since November 2016.
It’s perhaps unsurprising given May is traditionally retail’s best friend. However, with the findings also representing the month’s biggest boost since 2010, the reputation is solidified more than ever with the help of shopping on the web.
After all, as well as the array of attractions, scorching heat saw shoppers spike the footwear and garden sectors to growth of 54.4% and 40.2% respectively. Indeed, the temperature alone was enough to coax shoppers into splashing out, given the heatwave on Sunday May 6 had garden hit 74% for the bank holiday week.
Commenting on the findings, Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in customer engagement at Capgemini, said: “UK sunshine over-indexed in May – coming in 18% higher than the last two years – and temperatures have also resumed after the much colder start to 2018.
“According to GfK’s overall Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence is up two points versus last month with a positive outlook for the year ahead, despite the uncertain economic backdrop. With this in mind, retailers need to maximise the opportunities around the uplift in customer spending and make the most of influential external factors through relevant messaging and offerings to their customers to secure their market share.”
E-commerce continues to swim away from the decline high streets face, including the wet Easter weather that drowned anticipated high street sales. And given the store closures tallying up, the ease and convenience of online are clearly king.