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Online sales growth dips in May

07 June 2017 - 10:56 by Graham Miller

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The latest BRC figures show that non-food sales made via safe shopping online last month increased by 4.3 per cent year on year. This is not only a significant drop-off compared with the double digit growth enjoyed in May of 2016, but also the lowest increase recorded since records began, according to Internet Retailing.

As a result of this, the past quarter has achieved an average growth rate of seven per cent, while there has been a slight decline in the market as a whole when the high street is taken into account.

Twenty two per cent of all retail purchases were carried out online in May this year, which shows that it is gradually increasing its grip on the market as a whole.

Report spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, said that consumers were being a little more cautious with their cash at the moment, avoiding making purchases which are not absolutely vital.

Furthermore, she said that the stats show a move towards budget-oriented brands and items being made by shoppers at the moment, especially in terms of categories including fashion and beauty.

This is causing retailers to create offers and promotions designed to encourage consumers to part with their cash, as discounts are more likely to prompt a purchase than full sticker prices.

The key point to note is that in spite of the unexpectedly low growth figures, the e-commerce sector is still expanding even during these times of economic and political uncertainty. Analysts are expecting that the improving weather in June will help to prompt more spending as summer gets underway and the school holidays loom, although this week’s general election could play a role in dampening demand while the Brexit negotiations are another potential sticking point for the industry going forwards.