Online spending growth dropped to a record low in September as etailers were hit by heavy high street discounting and localised postal stikes.
Year-on-year online sales growth was ahead just 8% to £3.9bn for the month - a record low - while month-on-month growth at 1.9%, was an unusually low rate for September according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Online clothing, footwear and accessories sales stuttered in September with sales rising by just 10% against last year. Average growth this year for the sector has typically been 20%.
However, sales were hit as many high street retailers launched promotions early this year and the recession continued to influence consumer spending.
Regional postal strikes also hit sales and the threat of a large-scale national strike continues to loom.
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.”