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  • Online mobile sales slow as summer comes to a close

    UK online retail sales held steady this August, as shopper spending achieved +12.8% growth year-on-year (YoY).
    This in line with the three and twelve month rolling averages of +12.8% and +12.9%, but below the three-month average of +15.3%.
    M-retail (smartphones and tablets) growth hit an all-time low of +10% YoY.
    While smartphone growth still came in at +26.7%, it was the lowest growth since September 2014. This is a significant drop on last August’s +53.6%.
    Multichannel m-retail growth only stayed above water with +1% YoY growth. M-retail growth was up 15% YoY.
    Garden finally slowed down after enjoying blockbuster growth from this year’s heatwave. This is coming in at +2.8% YoY growth.

    Online sales down across UK retail

    Bhavesh Unadkat of Capgemini: “We were expecting a much bigger downturn in August than we got given the effect of the hot summer.
    “The index was down on last month by less than 2%. This is the lowest decline compared to last four years, and one of best performance we’ve had coming out of July.
    “The August performance was driven by an uplift in the final week during the August bank holiday weekend. We started to see a change in the weather, driving autumn-wear and new season growth.”
    Andy Mulcahy, strategy and insight director, IMRG: “The main driver of growth in our index over the past few years has been smartphone devices.
    “Throughout 2016 sales growth through these devices was in the 75-100% range. In 2017 it slowed down to be in the 40-60% range, then as we’ve entered 2018 it has continued to decline.
    “This is expected, as very high growth cannot usually be sustained for long periods, but in August three points of note happened.
    “The first was that smartphone sales growth was at its lowest rate since September 2014. August 2018 was also the first time it has fallen below the 30% mark since then.
    “The second was that, looking at mobile devices, growth was at its lowest ever rate since we started tracking it in 2012.”

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