Wednesday 17 August 2016 6:36 pm

Discounting drives biggest online sales growth in 20 months in July as retailers scrap with Amazon over customers

Online sales growth hit a 20-month high in July as summer discounts convinced internet shoppers to click to the checkout.

Growth in July was 19 per cent year-on-year as the value for the average basket of goods fell from £80.52 in June to £78.39 last month, according to data from IMRG and Capgemini.

Home and garden sales performed particularly well, increasing by 50 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.

Bhavesh Unadkat, management consultant at Capgemini, said the sales inflation may be due to "reactive plans" made by retailers to match the discounts available on Amazon Prime Day.

Read more: High street sales flat in July despite retailers peddling giant discounts

Amazon announced recently that customer orders on Amazon Prime Day – on 12 July – were up by 60 per cent compared to last year.

Neil Collins, head of online retail consulting at Summit said it was "good news" that online retailing is showing growth "despite the unpredictable climate".

Collins said: "Retailers need to deliver now more than ever to protect their online sales and maintain their market share, and focus on the elements that have the greatest impact in converting online visitors to sale.

"Most notably, these include improving slow site speeds, long forms for customers to fill out and poor imagery – all elements that fundamentally affect the customer's journey to purchase."