According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of goods sold in June increased by 13.9% from May. This meant UK retail sales were near pre-lockdown levels again.

However, the rise isn’t all sunshine and butterflies, behind the numbers were big changes in the world of retail. Food and Online Sales up, whilst clothing is continuing to struggle.

The shining light that can be taken from the report is the continued growth that Online is seeing. It is going from strength to strength, accounting for £3 out of very £10 spent by consumers.

Jonathan Athow, ONS Deputy National Statistician told the BBC “We’ve had record online sales” and the £3 out of £10 was “a really big increase”.

Although the proportion of online spending reduced to 31.8% in June from 33.3% in May, it is still a considerable increase from the 20% in February and presents an opportunity for businesses to help drive their recovery as we move into what has been coined by many as “The New Normal”.

As we’ve mentioned before, 41% of respondents answered that they were “currently shopping online for things they would normally shop for in-store.”, and all things point to this being a continued and sustainable shopping habit taking hold.

This was confirmed in a release by YouGov. They noted that 39% of people say they would use online shopping and/or delivery even though physical retail has opened up again. Online shopping is now a way of life for many, it is going from being a necessity to a preference.

In an interview with the BBC, Hellen Stirling-Baker, owner of Small Stuff, a Sheffield-based independent retailer, spoke about her move to online during the lockdown.

“Driving my store online is how I have been able to survive,” she said. But she took it one step further and tried to create a little of what people might have been missing.

“Offering face-to-face video calling for customers to recreate the in-store experience has been crucial and sales are picking up” she continued “I’ve also added new services such as local delivery by hand, which really boosts engagement.

This is something that all retailers can and absolutely should be doing. Re-opening with social distancing measures in place will start to help physical retail but there are a huge number of people that aren’t able to or are unwilling to return to retail stores. Their option is online, and you need to be there to be part of the action.

In the same release by YouGov, it was indicated that 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products, this doesn’t only mean by walking into physical stores, it extends to online shopping.

Think Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams and this now attributed to history misquote – “If you build it, they will come” (the original being ‘If you build it, he will come’). Either way, local people want to support local people and by giving current and future customers more ways to interact with you, it can only be a good thing.

And if you’re now thinking, “Great, I’m sold. But how am I going to get my store online?” Well, we can help with that too.

At Eclipse we’ve been building digital experiences for a long time and we pride ourselves on making them beautifully simple. We unlock your trading potential, creating and supporting beautifully simple sites that are functionally rich and continually perform way above expectations. Our clients enjoy seamless access to the best analysts, experts and technical resources in the sector. We’re proud of what we do and we’re incredibly good at it (and it’s not just us saying that).

We’ve tailored a solution for everyone, no matter where the start point in the market is. Take a look at what we have on offer and reach out so we can help you launch your new digital shop front.