Online Spending Grows Every Month in 2024, as UK Shoppers Spend £8.5bn in March

The latest data from Adobe, powered by Adobe Analytics – based on actual online transactions rather than estimates or survey data – reveals consumer confidence and online spending power returning in the first quarter of 2024. UK online spending reached £8.5 billion in March 2024, representing a 3.7% increase on the £8.2 billion spent in March 2023, and follows YoY growth of 5% in February and 1.5% in January. With November and December also providing a strong end to 2023, we’ve now seen five months of consecutive online spending growth.

This marked improvement is good news for retailers, who will hope to reap the benefits of increases to universal credit and child benefit, cuts to National Insurance and lower caps on energy prices, which will boost consumer finances from 8th April.

The data also revealed that the small drop in online grocery prices we saw in February (-1.2% YoY) may have been an anomaly, with prices rising slightly (+0.7%) month-on-month, and 2.2% on the levels we saw in March 2023.

“It’s been a good start to the year for online retail with three straight months of year-on-year growth. Retailers will be hopeful that the cuts to national insurance, energy price caps and increases to universal credit and child benefit will further bolster consumer confidence and take spending power to new heights in the coming months,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights.

More than £1 in every £7 spent online uses Buy Now, Pay Later

British consumers used Buy Now Pay Later services to finance £1.35 billion worth of online purchases in March 2024, up 8% YoY, and representing for 15.9% of total online spending for the month. This is the highest level of overall spend seen since October 2023, and comes as the FCA warns that while peoples’ personal finances are improving, many are still struggling to pay their bills. The total spent using Buy Now Pay Later services reached £3.95bn in the first quarter of 2024, up from £3.62bn in Q1 of 2023.

Additional insights include:

Easter offers boosted Good Friday sales

Mother's Day saw March spending get off to a good start

About Adobe Digital Insights

The Adobe Digital Insights team used Adobe Analytics to analyse hundreds-of-millions of visits to retail sites from UK consumers in March, tracking 100 million stock keeping units (SKUs) across 18 product categories to provide the most comprehensive view of the UK digital economy. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud, relied upon by major retailers to deliver, measure, and personalise shopping experiences online.