Online spending growth hit a record low in September as etailers were hit by heavy discounting on the high street and postal strikes.

Year-on-year growth was ahead just 8% to £3.9bn for the month, with month-on-month growth at 1.9%, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.    

It says customers have been more cautious ahead of Christmas and that the postal strikes have also acted as a deterrent for online shoppers. With a national strike looming tomorrow, this is a key concern that will continue for online retailers in the lead up to Christmas.

Average growth this year has typically been 20%, but as many high street retailers launched promotions early this year, clothing, footwear and accessories sales online grew just 10% in September.

Sales of electrical goods also slowed online with a growth of 14% compared to last year.

Capgemini UK head of consulting for retail Mike Petevinos said: “The results for September show a slowdown in the growth of online spending but we view this as a temporary blip and expect growth rates to return to the 15% year-on-year trend we have seen over the last year. The underlying trend is still that consumers are turning to the internet to make more informed purchase decisions.”

John Lewis Direct managing director Robin Terrell said: “It’s clear that our customers are increasingly shopping online and enjoying the benefits of our online shopping experience more than ever. We are seeing growth online across all product lines, particularly fashion since the relaunch of our fashion site, but also encouragingly in home.”