Digital retail sales soar to 12-year high as lockdown forces shoppers online

Online shopping

New data shows that online retail sales grew 32.7% year on year in May, marking the highest annual result since March 2008 as shoppers were forced online by the closure of stores due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The study also found a 13.6% month-on-month growth in online from April, according to the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks the online sales performance of over 200 retailers.

The rolling averages for 12, six and three months also reflected this increase, rising 8.4%, 10.4% and 17.3% respectively.

The trajectory was largely driven by increased sales in home and garden, electricals, and beer, wine and spirits. These reflect the current trends in consumer behaviour, including home-working, increased DIY, and virtual pub quizzes and parties.

Sales were also likely impacted by the record-breaking 266 hours of sunshine in May, as well as multiple bank holidays.

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