Online Activity Declines.
After an uptake in April, online retail visits have once again dipped by -2.4% YoY in May. This time last year, Britons were celebrating an early summer, the Royal Wedding and the World Cup, contributing to online rises in Food & Drink, Clothing, and House & Garden categories. This year, a number of these categories have slowed or even declined in online traffic, despite two bank holidays and improving weather conditions compared to previous months.
But there continues to be an uptake in conversions. The average of 40 top retailers rose slightly from 2.37% (visit-to-purchase rate) to 2.52%, indicating that once consumers have reached retail sites, there is a higher propensity for them to purchase online. In particular, online retailers like Amazon, Boohoo and NotOnTheHighStreet, have grown their conversion rates by over +10% YoY.
Books Category Rises Thanks to Game of Thrones
On a positive note, some declining industries have reversed their trend this month. Books, Stationary & Home Entertainment grew by +2.8% YoY, compared to the -3.4% decline from the same period last year. Two key books helped to drive this reversal. Searches for “Game of Thrones books” (after the final season) and “Pinch of Nom” (the newly released 100 slimming recipes in time for summer) have spiked +586% YoY and +195% YoY, respectively.
Overall, May’s performance hasn’t been the most positive leading into summer, but declines weren’t across the board. Conversions are still rising, and some industries have reversed their fortunes with viral trends and new releases. Through category and search level data, there are opportunities to find growth over quieter months, as well as understanding the specific interests of online audiences.