Online retail sales returned to double-digit growth in September after etail revenue growth plunged to its lowest level for 15 years last month.  

Ecommerce sales increased 12% year-on-year during September, which helped sales growth climb to 10% for the third quarter, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Year-to-date growth also stands at 10%.

September’s performance was driven by the late summer bank holiday, which fell in the first week of the month.

Capgemini head of digital, consumer products and retail Alex Smith-Bingham said: “While it’s reassuring to see the Index return to double-digit growth, it’s not as strong as the sector would have liked.

“With the Rugby World Cup, the warm weather and the late bank holiday, retailers could be forgiven for expecting a better performance in September. As we approach the busy Christmas period, and with Black Friday just a few weeks away, it will be interesting to see whether British shoppers have intentionally held back for the heavy discounting the festive season brings.”

Turbulent year of growth

It is believed the late bank holiday contributed to online sales being up just 5% year-on-year in August and down 6% on July. Meanwhile, sales were up 8% on August this September.

The home sector reported a particularly strong September, with a 47% year-on-year increase.

IMRG editor Andy Mulcahy said: “It’s been a very topsy-turvy year so far in 2015 for online retail growth – we had a slow first quarter, a strong second quarter and now an average third quarter.”