Online sales bounced back in June, registering the strongest rate of growth so far this year bolstered by clothing.

Ecommerce sales rose 8.5% in June, outperforming three-, six- and 12-month rolling average sales of a 0.5% decline, 5.4% uplift and 6.9% rise respectively.

According to the IMRG Capgemini E-retail Sales Index, sales for multichannel retailer increased 8.1%, while sales for online-only retailers registered an 8.1% uplift.

Clothing was the standout performer as sales jumped 15.7% overall, the highest growth recorded so far this year. Menswear was the key driver of this as sales ascended 31.2%, while womenswear rose 3.3% from declining sales in May.

Health and beauty and home and garden also performed well, registering sales rises of 20.4% and 9.8% respectively, while electricals and gift categories recorded declines of 23% and 23.4% each.

IMRG strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy said: “The trading environment for online retail in the first half of the year has been tough; for the previous three months (March-May), growth was just +2.2%. June then can be interpreted as a bounce-back, particularly given it was building on strong growth of +16.1% in June 2018. However, the discounting has been heavy so the margins achieved may not be high – online clothing sales were up +15.7%, but the average basket value for clothing was down -25%. That doesn’t suggest shopper confidence is very high.

“It is the summer sales period now, so end-of-season sales campaigns are in full swing. The key now for retailers is whether they can come out of discounting and maintain a reasonable level of sales growth before we get too close to the Black Friday period. Otherwise, we may be in for another difficult peak where the rates of discount are wider and deeper than many retailers would like.”