UK online retail sales in November were up 40%, the highest ever month-on-month growth recorded since the IMRG Capemini e-Retail Sales Index launched 15 years ago.
During the Black Friday period, shoppers compensated for withheld spending in the previous month, when the IMRG Capemini e-Retail Sales Index recorded its lowest ever annual growth for the month of October.
The record-breaking spike in online sales was driven by the growth of m-retail, with purchases made via a smartphone accounting for 32% of all mobile commerce sales – a record high for these devices. Sales made on a smartphone device grew by 97% year-on-year (YoY) while purchases made on a tablet reached a record low of just 12% YoY, demonstrating a notable shift in mobile spending habits.
Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail, Capgemini, commented: “It’s becoming clearer that Black Friday is the online retailer’s day, taking sales away from the High Street and out competing their multichannel counterparts.
“The significant shift to smartphones shows that those with a mobile-first strategy across the customer journey are at a distinct advantage. The results in December will tell whether the success for on-line retailers is limited to the day or the two week period.”
Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG said: “The record monthly surge in e-retail sales during November suggests that consumers were holding back in October waiting for Black Friday promotions, especially as this follows the weakest-ever annual growth recorded in the Index during the month of October.
“It is evident that the shift toward mobile devices continues, with smartphones accounting for an increasing share of mobile commerce sales. In fact, smartphones have taken an additional 10% share over the past 12 months alone, accounting for almost a third of m-retail sales in November, up from 22% in the same month last year.”
In November, online-only retailers saw sales increase 24% on the same period last year, 20 percentage points higher than that of multichannel retailers, which recorded just 4%.
Whilst the Index spans November 2015, 35% of all sales were in the final week, commencing November 22, which included Black Friday. Note that Cyber Monday sales (Nov 20) will be included in the December figures this year.