September Slump in Online Sales

by Grainne Byrne

Shoppers take to the high street for early sales

Warm weather and in-store promotions have been earmarked as the causes for a record slump in online spending for September.

Online sales were down 1.9%, according to the monthly  IMRG Capgemini e-retail Sales Index report that measures online retail sales in the UK.  Figures reveal that September sales rose by 7.6% on last year, a record low for this period.

IMRG blame the downturn in the online market on early bird sale promotions on the high street and the warmer than normal temperatures for teasing shoppers away from their computer portals to the shops.

Tina Spooner, Director of Information at IMRG explains:

“The slowdown in e-tail growth during September indicates that consumers are being cautious ahead of the festive shopping season.  The fine autumnal weather also appears to have had an impact on internet sales with increased footfall reported on the high street.”

Annual, month-on-month sales comparisons are the measure for online spending growth.  Sales of clothing footwear and accessories fell grew by just 10% in 2009, a downturn of 6% on last year.

Mike Petevinos, Head of Consulting for Retail at Capgemini UK, is optimistic for a reverb in the growth index:

“The results for September show a slowdown in the growth of online spending but we view this as a temporary blip and expect growth rates to return to the 15% year on year trend we have seen over the last year.  The underlying trend is that customers are still returning to the internet to make more informed purchase decisions.”

Over one hundred e-tailers contribute data to the IMRG Index including British retail giant, John Lewis.

Robin Terrell, Managing Director of John Lewis say that despite this reported slump their customers continue to turn to the web to shop for clothes and home wares, he says:  

“It’s clear that our customers are increasingly shopping online and enjoying the benefits of our online shopping experience more than ever.  We are seeing growth online across all product lines, particularly fashion, but also encouragingly in  home.”

 Also enjoying success after sweeping up at the annual e-Commerce Awards for Excellence are online outfit ASOS who picked up four awards at a London awards ceremony on Monday night.  Taking home awards for ‘Best Customer Experience’, ‘Best Pureplay Retailer’, ‘User Generated Innovation’ and the prestigious ‘On-line Gold Award’, ASOS may still be celebrating as no one was available to comment on their recent triumph.