Online sales in the U.K. in July fall month-over-month for the first time in 13 years.

U.K. online sales increased 9% year-over-year in July, the weakest year-over-year sales growth for the region since January 2010, according to business and technology consultancy Capgemini and U.K. e-retail association Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG).

Online sales decreased 2% month over month in July 2013 compared to June—the first monthly sales decline in the index’s 13-year history.

The report provided no spending figures.

The weather likely played a role in the weak online sales, says Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG “There is no doubt that the prolonged heat wave had a detrimental effect for online retailers,” she says. “Following the coldest spring in over 50 years, it is hardly surprising that Britons headed outside when the much-needed sunshine appeared.”

Online sales for bricks-and-mortar retailers increased 6% year-over-year in July, the lowest growth for the group since the index began. Online sales for web-only retailers grew 13% in July, according to the index.


The slowing growth in July follows a stronger-than-expected first half, according to the index. U.K. online sales from January through June grew 16% compared to the first half of 2012, higher than the two firms’ forecast of 12% growth for that period.

Weak year-on-year increases were recorded across most categories, including electronics, up 2%, health and beauty, up 3% and travel, up 3%. British consumers also spent less money per online order in July, with the average order dropping 15% compared with July 2012 to 72 pounds (US$112.75).

Categories that performed well included home and garden, which grew 37% year-over-year in July. Beer, wine and spirits also rose 23% year-on-year during the month.


The two groups did say that sales on smartphones and tablets increased 129% year-on-year in July. The average m-commerce conversion rate in July was 2.5%, the highest in five months.

“The mobile sales growth of 129% is lower than in recent months but not significantly so, suggesting that consumers still shopped via their devices while bathing in the sun,” Spooner says.

More than 100 online retailers contribute their sales data to the index.


U.S. online retail sales grew 18.4% year-over-year in Q2, according to U.S. Department of Commerce, marking the highest quarterly growth rate for e-commerce since late 2007, before the 2008 financial crisis sent the U.S. economy into a tailspin.