Opinion: Online retailers must face up to inconvenient truths

Johnson-Jones, Molly

Online retail sales growth slowed to 0.6% in the 12 weeks to June 2, versus 8% in 2018. While we can point to the weather as being partly to blame, I think there are a few larger trends at play here.

The excitement of being released from having to save for purchases and consider the longevity of every item of clothing has grown old, and there’s only so much newness that retailers can offer in a saturated market.

As a result, retailers have panicked and still are panicking. Volumes have fallen and there’s a whole lot of leftover stock that they can’t shift. So the discounting begins. It started with discounting the stockthey couldn’t shift but now it’s used across the market as a tactic to try and drive higher sales volumes.

People are buying less stuff, so instead of online retailers having the luxury of competing for a slice of a rapidly growing pie, they’ve now got to fight it out among themselves for a slice of a relatively stagnant pie. 

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