With the UK government announcing that the lockdown is set to continue for another three weeks forcing many retailers to remain closed, new Bloomreach data shows that UK consumers are shopping online more than ever before across nearly all categories.

Data from the week commencing April 12th shows that overall UK eCommerce sales grew by over 48% compared to the previous year, with traffic up by 41%.

Broken down by segment, the year-on-year data shows:

  • Groceries – sales are up 77% and traffic is up 163%. This is the slowest rate since the start of the lockdown, showing that Britons are panic buying less and adjusting to the new normal.
  • Home DIY – sales are up 102% and traffic is up 70%. As Britons spend more time at home, they are prioritising their living arrangements. Parents are also investing in crafts and tools to keep children busy, with searches for trampolines appearing for the first time.
  • Apparel – sales are up just 17% and traffic is up 58%. The apparel sector is finally renewing with growth following weeks of drops in sales, showing a new appetite for retail therapy.
  • Luxury – sales are down 7.5% but traffic is up 11%. This shows that consumers are starting to look for more luxury items, but are not yet fully convinced about making large investments in high-end products online.

Brian Walker, CSO at Bloomreach said “The growth we’re seeing in eCommerce right now is essentially unprecedented. Not since the early days of eCommerce have we seen such substantial year-over-year growth numbers. This growth is happening across categories in what is now a mature eCommerce market. A month ago, we saw customers hunkering down, stocking up the pantry, and buying as much toilet paper and hand sanitizer as they could. But now we are in a different phase that sees customers turning online to spruce up their homes and gardens, entertain and occupy their kids, and be more comfortable at unprecedented rates even as they shop online for groceries and essentials as well. While this online and digital growth doesn’t fully make up for in-store losses for many businesses, this move to online sales marks a shift in customer behaviour that’s going to have a lasting impact on how companies do business.”