Travel retailers have seen the biggest gains online during the summer, but Netflix and ASDA Direct were the fastest risers overall, according to new data looking at the top 50 online retailers in the UK.
An index of the top 50 most visited retail sites was dominated by retailers in the travel sector in July, although most were lower in the rankings compared with this time last year.
The rankings are taken from the IMRG Hitwise Hot Shops List, a quarterly index which measures traffic to UK retail sites.
The biggest fallers against this time last year were Expedia, down 15 places to 28th position and Travel Republic, which ranked 38th in the list, down from 28th in July 2012. The Train Line bucked the trend for travel companies, rising 5 places to 16th position in the Hot Shops List.
The fastest risers this quarter were Netflix (+16 places), Asda Direct (+13), followed by Halfords (+11), Currys (+9) and House of Fraser (+8).
While Next ranked top of the list for fashion retailers, it fell one place in the overall Hot Shops List from last year, with Top Shop also falling slightly. All the other apparel retailers rose in the rankings this quarter, compared with July last year.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer, IMRG: “The August Hot Shops List is usually dominated by travel retailers and this year it was no exception, but the demand for foreign holidays was less due to the UK’s prolonged heat-wave in July. Although many people thought the weather was very welcome following the freezing start to the year, online retail overall suffered. As consumers were driven outside, high street retail performed strongly while online sales recorded the first ever negative growth between June and July (-2%) in 13 years of tracking*. In terms of sales growth, the online travel sector was up by just 3%, the lowest growth for that sector in 2 years.“
James Murray, Digital Insight Manager, Experian Marketing Services: “The unseasonably hot weather we experienced in July had a major effect on people’s online shopping behaviour and in turn may be responsible for some of the trends we have witnessed in this quarter’s HotShops list. During the peak week of the hot weather we saw online demand for air conditioning and air cooling units increase 200% and searches for Dyson fans increase by 236% as people tried to keep themselves cool and this has been a major boon for electronics and white goods retailers such as Currys. Meanwhile demand for BBQs increased by 40% which will be a part of the reason for the rise in the rankings of B&Q and with the weather being consistently sunny it’s no surprise that fashion retailers benefited from improved traffic figures as people looked to improve their summer wardrobes.”
Hot Shops List in full
The IMRG-Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List of the top 50 UK e-retailers* is the key indicator of online merchant performance. The List is published quarterly and tracks popularity, as indicated by visits, of those selling goods and services within the IMRG Capgemini Index Classification**. This List is based on July 2013 data.
* The IMRG-Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List excludes eBay and price comparison / aggregator websites such as Kelkoo and Froogle.
** IMRG Capgemini Index Classification: Beer / wine / spirits; Books; CDs / tapes / records; Clothing / footwear / accessories; Computer hardware / peripherals / consumables; Consumer electronics; Digital downloads (e.g. music, software); Flowers; Food, beverages and household supplies; Furniture; Garden / DIY; Health and beauty; Home appliances (e.g. washing machines); Household goods (e.g. kitchenware, bedding); Jewellery / watches; Software; Sporting goods; Tickets (e.g. cinema, theatre, events); Toys; Travel (e.g. flights, holidays, hotels, car hire); Video games; Videos / DVDs