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UK Online Retail Sales Report summary

May 2022

Period covered: Period covered: 03 April – 30 April 2022

Note: This report summary is one or two months behind the current month as standard reporting practice. The content is indicative only and incomplete with certain data undisclosed. Become a member to access this data or take out a free 30 day membership trial now.

Online retail sales growth fell by 00% 00 in April (value and non-seasonally adjusted), against a 00% rise a year ago when non-essential shops remained closed until 12 April.

Strong growth rates a year ago resulted in declines across all sectors this year. However, this masks the underlying trend.

April’s performance was in fact the strongest since December, with average weekly sales rising to £00m, improving on the previous month.

Online penetration ticked upwards, rising to 00% of total retail sales from 26.1% last month.

However, much of the improvement in value growth is being supported by accelerating inflation with retailers raising prices as their costs continue to spiral.

IMRG reported that the Average Basket Value (ABV) rose to an all-time high of £00 in 00, £00 higher than the previous record set in August 2021.

Inflation, indicative of that experienced at pure online retailers, remained close to a record high last month at 9.0% (ONS Retail Sales Deflator) suggesting that retail sales volumes are significantly down on a year ago.

This mirrors the uplift in headline inflation which was driven higher by the inclusion of the rise in the energy price cap, VAT returning to 20% in the hospitality sector, increase in NIC payments and surging fuel prices, adding to pressure on household budgets.

Resultantly, consumer confidence deteriorated in April, falling seven points to -38 as concerns about the economy’s performance and personal finances waned. 

Online Food sales fell for the 00 successive month, 00 00% in April as consumers return to in-store shopping driven by a flight to value. Discounters and those with a strong value proposition are likely to benefit the most.

The Non-Food category (-00%) continued to be supported by strong demand for Clothing & Footwear in April. Online sales growth declined by just 00% despite comparisons against a record rise a year ago (+00%).

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Online Non-Food sales growth improves

Source: ONS

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  • Online market size estimates (£m)
  • Online spending forecasts (£m)
  • Online vs. Store analysis
  • Online sales growth by category (£m)
  • External data summaries: ONS, BRC, KPMG, BDO, IMRG-Capgemini
  • Online penetration rates by category and more...