July was a key month for the UK as it continued its gradual emergence into a post-pandemic landscape. With further easing of restrictions on the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, UK consumers had more opportunities to visit shops, bars, restaurants and theatres than at any point since March 2020.
Just as importantly for UK businesses, the relaxing of the government’s work from home guidance meant that more people returned to their workplace for the first time since those early months of 2020, bringing with them an expected boost to those businesses that rely on the passing trade of commuters and office workers.
Many hospitality, leisure and bricks and mortar retail businesses were also hoping to experience a post- “Freedom Day” bounce, but will increased spending offline mean a slowdown in ecommerce spend, or will the online shopping habits formed over the past 18 months stick?
The latest UK figures from the Adobe Digital Economy Index, which analysed billions of online transactions from UK retailers between May and July, found that online spending accelerated through the summer months hitting a summer-time high of £10 billion in July alone. This brings the UK’s year-to-date online spending to £64.9 billion, up 18% YoY and 56% compared with the same period in 2019.