Online spending exceeds £24bn over Christmas

UK shoppers spent a record £24.4 billion online over Christmas, a 12% annual increase, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

The Index report shows that the greatest concentration of sales (17%) during the eight weeks to December 26 took place on Black Friday, commencing November 22.

During what has become the biggest event in the retail calendar, online sales increased 62% on the previous week, with shoppers splashing out an estimated £4.3 billion on discounted goods.

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This represents a significant increase on the 44% growth recorded during the same period in 2014, and 20% in 2013, before Black Friday existed in the UK.

The Index also revealed that UK retail sales recorded a solid 11% Year-on-Year increase in 2015, equating to approximately £114 billion spent online.

The annual performance is slightly under IMRG and Capgemini’s 2015 forecast of 12% growth.

For 2016, Index is expected to record a further 11% growth, with total e-retail sales estimated to be worth £126 billion by year end.

Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital at Capgemini, commented: “2015 has been another massive year in terms of consumer spending, but what the Index reveals is just how dominant the online channels have become. In just two years Black Friday has shifted from a high-street event to an online one, with retailers extending their discounting over a week, rather than a single day.

“We also saw mobile confirm its role as a primary shopping channel, providing consumers with an unprecedented level of convenience. In 2016 I’m confident we’ll see this influence increase even further with mobile representing over half of all sales made online.”

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