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Cost-of-living crisis not driving UK consumers to budget retailers

25 Aug 2022
  • While the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit pockets, consumer spend is not going where you’d expect
  • In the last 6 months (as of March 2022), online retail sales for budget goods have fallen -16% Year-on-Year (YoY)
  • In comparison, premium goods have only declined -9% and mid-market goods just -5%
  • In fact, for July mid-market sales saw positive growth of +4% – the only one of the three categories to do so
  • While the Average Basket Value (ABV) for mid-market and premium goods has fluctuated, suggesting signs of discounting, the budget goods ABV has remained flat as tighter margins leave little room for flexibility

LONDON UK – 25 August 2022: As the impact of the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite, signs indicate that UK consumers are prioritising quality goods over budget bargains when it comes to their online retail spend. That’s according to the latest IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which tracks online sales for 200 retailers.

Since March, online sales for budget retailers have fallen -16% Year-on-Year (YoY), while premium retailers (-9%) and their mid-market counterparts (-5%) have fared significantly better. This is particularly the case for mid-market retailers, who saw positive growth in July at +4% (and June at +1%).

Taking a closer look at the Average Basket Value (ABV) to understand the trends behind these figures, the rise in spend for mid-market goods between January (£106) and July (£146) hints at Brits being unable to let go of high-quality items so compromising with mid-market options in an attempt to balance new budget constraints. More movement in general within the ABV for both the premium and mid-market categories also points to discounting being used as a tactic to boost sales – something budget retailers (who’s ABV has remained flat) have little scope to do.  

Simon Binge, Commerce Senior Manager, Customer Transformation at Capgemini: “With mounting economic pressures and very little positive news on the horizon, it’s telling that UK consumers are opting for quality compared to price in the value equation. Whilst there are signs of trading down, consumers are still unwilling to compromise on quality and are being helped by discounting in higher price points. It remains to be seen, however, whether this behaviour – and retail promotional activity survives the potential worsening of economic conditions in Autumn and beyond.”


About the ‘IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index’

The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, which was started in April 2000, tracks ‘online sales’, which we define as ‘transactions completed fully, including payment, via interactive channels’ from any location.

About IMRG

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of online retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry. We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indices provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 80 additional KPIs. Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

About Capgemini

Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. The Group is guided everyday by its purpose of unleashing human energy through technology for an inclusive and sustainable future. It is a responsible and diverse organisation of over 350,000 team members in more than 50 countries. With its strong 55-year heritage and deep industry expertise, Capgemini is trusted by its clients to address the entire breadth of their business needs, from strategy and design to operations, fuelled by the fast evolving and innovative world of cloud, data, AI, connectivity, software, digital engineering and platforms. The Group reported in 2021 global revenues of €18 billion. Get The Future You Want |