Consumers Shun Online Shopping During Blistering Heatwave

Consumers Shun Online Shopping During Blistering Heatwave

UK consumers were “too hot to shop” during the heatwave, with online revenues and footfall declining as UK temperatures soared to record levels, according to a new report by Wunderkind and Sensormatic Solutions.

As the temperature started to climb on July 18, web revenues fell by 47.8% week-on-week as shoppers hunkered down to deal with the heat.

The numbers then recovered to +1.06 week-on-week on July 19, when the UK saw record-breaking temperatures.

However, over the two-day heatwave period, total web revenues fell by 30.7% compared to the week before.

The data also revealed that web traffic to UK retailers’ websites on July 18 fell marginally -1.12% week-on-week, while web visits on July 19 hovered just below the same level as the week before.

As the temperatures eased on 20 July, web revenues rallied, rising to +51.21% compared to the Wednesday prior.

With forecasters issuing warnings of extreme heat the week before the heatwave, online shopping peaked ahead of the two hottest days.

As consumers scrambled to prepare themselves, the total web revenues for July 11 and 12 were up 17.4% compared to the week before.

In the week preceding the heatwave, tech retailer Currys said it had sold a record 17,000 electric fans, and sales of air conditioning units from Argos were up 2,240%, while Asda said its paddling pool range saw sales increase by 1,000% on the week prior.

“With warnings that the extreme heat could impact infrastructure, including transport and logistics networks, Brits moved fast to get ahead with their online shopping in a bid to beat the heat, prompting a boost to online revenues,” Wunderkind general manager International Wulfric Light-Wilkinson said.

“Events like this, though rare, highlight the value of understanding consumer needs and being able to give shoppers what they want, exactly when they want it.”