July online sales reach record high of £10bn as return to the office boosts consumer spending
UK e-commerce spending hit £10 bn in July, the highest monthly spend in 2021 so far, and the most spent in July ever according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index.
This brings this year’s total online spend to £64.9 bn, a massive increase of 56 per cent from 2019.
While offline inflation has continued to increase since 2016, online prices have only started to increase since the start of the pandemic.
The analysis found that online inflation for July was up 2.8 per cent year-on-year as surging demand clashed with continued pressure on supply chains.
The biggest increases included items like books, clothing and jewellery.
The recent increase can be partially attributed to the easing of work from home guidance, with formal work attire sales up 200 per cent over the six weeks before July, compared with six weeks pre-lockdown.
Whilst shops have reopened, Adobe’s companion survey found consumers continue to favour the relative safety of online shopping. The survey showed that 40 per cent of shoppers planned to actively avoid in-store shopping even after lifted restrictions. While 56 per cent planned to avoid busy areas like high-streets altogether.
Of the 51 per cent survey respondents who said that their workplaces have now re-opened, one-third of these consumers said they purchased new clothes upon returning.
The return to the office also stands to positively impact the office economy, with survey respondents spending an average of £62 per week on breakfast, lunch, and businesses that operate near their offices, such as convenience shops and dry cleaners.