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Warmer weather spurs online shopping activities

08 June 2016 - 12:36 by Sarah Collinson

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Last month saw a 13.7 per cent rise in sales made online, according to the latest report from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.

After a protracted period of cold weather during the spring months which dampened prospects for the retail market, warmer conditions in May meant that people were out in force and ready to spend money.

In particular the figures show that there were significant spikes in the number of orders placed for items like paddling pools, clothing and toys designed for outdoor use, the Telegraph reports. This makes a clear link between the rising temperatures and the buying habits adopted by consumers in the UK.

By contrast, the relatively sluggish 6.6 per cent growth in e-commerce sales seen in April looks like it was similarly impacted by the weather.

Just over a fifth of the entire non-food retail market was made up of online sales in May, meaning that it came close to matching record periods recorded in the run-up to Christmas last year in terms of its dominance.

Analyst, David McCorquodale, said that shoppers had effectively decided to delay their purchases until the weather improved, rather than being dissuaded from shopping altogether.

In addition to a growth in the purchase of baby equipment, he highlighted improvements in the fashion market as being indicative of where consumer attention was being focused at the moment.

Sales across the retail sector, encompassing safe shopping online and high street stores, rose by 1.4 per cent in May. This seems relatively unimpressive, but analysts point out that it is also in line with previous predictions.

Food and drink sales were up by just 0.3 per cent, but with the impending arrival of the Euro 2016 tournament, it is expected that this part of the market will pick up as people stock up for the big games.