Postal strikes create online sales dip

Online sales were dramatically affected by the postal strikes according to monthly sales figures, dropping £53m in the last week of October.

Christmas online shopping
Christmas online shopping

According the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, despite recording year-on-year (11.8%) and month-on-month (8.4%) increases, growth dropped 5% in the last week of October as the threat of delivery delays took their toll on e-tailers.

British shoppers spent £4.2bn online during the month.

Sales of clothing and accessories were hit as shoppers returned to the high street to buy festive and winter clothing. Despite sales growth of 13.7% on October last year, the figure is significantly down against average October growth of 27%.

Sales of gifts were positively affected, up 40% on October last year, and 113% up on September.

IMRG and Capgemini suggest that the trend will continue as shoppers look to buy gifts early to avoid delays closer to Christmas.

Mike Petevenos, head of consulting for retail at Capgemini says: “E-retailers must ensure they heed the October warning signs and act to reassure consumers that orders will be delivered in time for Christmas. With consumer confidence restored e-retailers, can get on with the real challenge of convincing consumers to spend online and resist the temptation to wait even longer for last minute discounting on the high street. Careful tactical online promotions may be the route many adopt.”

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